Obama mulling ways to rebuke Israel on settlements

posted at 5:35 pm on June 1, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has already gotten a rebuke from Benjamin Netanyahu on the issue of settlements, and perhaps he’s looking for revenge.  According to the New York Times, the White House has spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to make Israel pay for not following the Road Map’s prohibition on settlement growth:

As President Obama prepares to head to the Middle East this week, administration officials are debating how to toughen their stance against any expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The measures under discussion — all largely symbolic — include stepping back from America’s near-uniform support for Israel in the United Nations if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel does not agree to a settlement freeze, administration officials said.

Other measures include refraining from the instant Security Council veto of United Nations resolutions that Israel opposes and making use of Mr. Obama’s bully pulpit to criticize the settlements, officials said. Placing conditions on loan guarantees to Israel, as the first President Bush did nearly 20 years ago, is not under discussion, officials said.

Still, talk of even symbolic actions that would publicly show the United States’ ire with Israel, its longtime ally, would be a sharp departure from the previous administration, which limited its distaste with Israel’s settlement expansions to carefully worded diplomatic statements that called them “unhelpful.”

I wonder how much time the White House spends on finding ways to penalize the Palestinians for not adhering to the Road Map?  After all, Hamas has spent the last couple of years launching rockets from Gaza.  Barack Obama responded by giving them almost a billion dollars for rebuilding after the Israelis finally had enough and stomped on Hamas.

Israel will have to give back on settlements eventually, in some manner, if and when the Palestinians actually work towards a real two-state solution that accepts Israel’s existence.  The logistics will call for major changes, as national sovereignty on both sides will be impossible to defend in the current configuration.  But that doesn’t mean that Israel has to act unilaterally, especially while the supposedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas rejects offers from Israel that would have resolved this very issue in his favor.

As for abandoning Israel at the UN, well, that hardly surprises when Obama chooses advisors like Samantha Power and Susan Rice.  It does, however, set up an interesting position for Obama at the UN, an organization he fulsomely praised during his campaign.  If the UN Security Council starts passing ridiculous resolutions prompted by its Human Rights Council about Israel’s supposed human-rights violations while ignoring Iran, China, Cuba, and the rest of the rogues’ gallery, will he help enforce them with action against Israel and guarantee a political blow to the Democratic Party?  Or will he simply ignore them, making the UN even more irrelevant than they are now?

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We don’t have ten years.

Itchee Dryback on June 1, 2009 at 7:44 PM

BINGO!!! I think we’re already about out of time, and luck…

right4life on June 1, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Joel Rosenberg’s “Ezekiel Option”. Read it.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 1, 2009 at 5:39 PM

or just read Ezekiel 37-39…

right4life on June 1, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Barring a miracle, the US/Israeli showdown is coming fast and the consequences WILL be ugly. The world in general and us Americans in particular are in for some very nasty times.

Dark-Star on June 1, 2009 at 6:59 PM

there will be a miracle, but it won’t be helping us..

and you are absolutely correct, ITS GONNA BE A WILD RIDE…

the 4 horsemen are getting reading to ride…

right4life on June 1, 2009 at 8:59 PM

Who can deny that this is a Muslim extremist?

TexasJew on June 1, 2009 at 10:09 PM

It’s becoming very clear that Obama and the ones pulling his strings are hell-bent on not only destabilizing our country but also destabilizing the world. Why else would they knowingly do everything in their power to polarize our country along ethnic and socio-economic fault lines and initiate a Marxist agenda that will prevent any meaningful economic recovery while simultaneously ignoring Iran and NK and abandoning Israel and treating our European allies with arrogance and disdain.

They are community organizing and rabble-rousing on a global scale. They are trying to bring about ‘change’ on a global level which is sure to bring about unimaginable global war and human suffering. If Obama is not the Antichrist, he is certainly paving the way.

TheAdmiral on June 1, 2009 at 10:18 PM

I’m sure Netanyahu is pretty intimidated, what with seeing how tough Obama is with his enemies, like Wall Street Execs, Chrysler, General Motors, capitalism, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, the unborn, whites trying to get past a Black Panther polling place, the president that came before him, anybody that pays taxes…

Star20 on June 1, 2009 at 10:47 PM

May all of the misery he’s causing return double strength.

Daggett on June 2, 2009 at 12:40 AM

Anyone really surprised? President Obama doesn’t like to hear, “No.”

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on June 2, 2009 at 2:31 AM

Israel will have to give back on settlements eventually, in some manner


Shy Guy on June 2, 2009 at 7:25 AM

Did you seriously expect Barry not to retaliate when Bibi gave him the middle finger?

corona on June 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM