The president’s hostility to Israel flared again yesterday, with his concurrence in a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel.
There is simply no way the United States or the other members of the Council are in a position to know what happened with sufficient detail to allow for such a resolution except for reflexive anti-Israeli sentiment. Peter Beinart can proclaim with certainty that the guilt lies with Israel’s leaders and Israel’s U.S. supporters, and there are plenty of voices inside Israel blasting the decision to stop the convoy.
But it is the job of the United States to prevent the Security Council from becoming just another “bash Israel” forum and make sure that all of the facts are known and that Israel –our most reliable ally in the region and the front line against the mullahs in Iran and their operatives in Lebanon and Gaza– is not unfairly pummeled with the aftermath of an intentional provocation that ought not to have occurred in the first place given the embargo. Israel’s response is just beginning to emerge, but already the U.S. has joined with the usual enemies of Israel to denounce the country.
How would the U.S. respond to an overland convoy of aid material to the heart of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan that is intended for the benefit of the forces carrying out war against the government of Afghanistan and their U.S. and western allies? Would Beinart urge that we allow such convoys to simply enter the area? If the convoy refused to stop at checkpoints, would he shrug his shoulders and say fine?
Beinart says the embargo of Gaza isn’t working. But there are far fewer rockets falling on Israel today than there were before the Gaza incursion last year. There are still occasional attacks and fatalities, so there is no basis for claiming that Hamas has reformed or is evolving into something other than a terrorist organization.
Of course the world would prefer that Israel be able to interdict resupply of terrorists without loss of life, and the ship should have gone to the Israeli port for inspection. It is a complicated, dangerous situation.
But President Obama advances resolution of the situation not one inch by joining in the pounding of Israel. The unprecedented level of hostility to Israel from an American Administration continues, and Israel and its supporters must recognize that President Obama is not a reliable supporter when the going gets very tough indeed.