Capitol Hill consensus: Obama screwed up on UN settlement resolution

posted at 2:55 pm on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

How did the Obama administration’s attempt at concessions to Arab states on a UN resolution opposing Israeli settlements play on Capitol Hill?  Among Republicans, the reaction was predictable.  Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted Barack Obama and his team for selling out Israel and sending a very bad message about American resolve to our other allies:

“Support for this anti-Israel statement is a major concession to enemies of the Jewish State and other free democracies. It telegraphs that the U.S. can be bullied into abandoning critical democratic allies and core U.S. principles,” she said in a statement on Thursday.

“Pretending that criticism of Israel is OK if it comes in a ‘Presidential Statement’ instead of a resolution isn’t leadership, it’s unacceptable. Twisting and turning and tying yourself in knots to avoid using our veto to defend our allies and interests isn’t leadership, it’s unacceptable. The administration should change course, stand unequivocally with Israel, and publicly pledge to block any anti-Israel UN Security Council action,” she said.

But Obama’s allies in Congress will defend his nuanced application of “smart power,” right?  Er …

“This is too clever by half,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). “Instead of doing the correct and principled thing and vetoing an inappropriate and wrong resolution, they now have opened the door to more and more anti-Israeli efforts coming to the floor of the U.N. The correct venue for discussions about settlements and the other aspects of a peace plan is at the negotiating table. Period.”

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee ranking Democrat, agreed.

“Compromising our support for Israel at the U.N. is not an option. The United States must veto the U.N. resolution on settlements to make clear we will not support such a blatant attempt to derail the peace process,” she said.

Not only did Obama sell out Israel and anger both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, he wound up with nothing to show for it anyway:

The Palestinians said the U.N. Security Council will vote Friday on a resolution to condemn Israeli settlements, rejecting a compromise proposal by the United States as too little, too late.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, made the announcement after a closed-door meeting late Wednesday of the 22-member Arab Group, which endorsed the decision. He called settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital, the “main obstacle” to the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel and said construction must stop.

Calling for a vote now, Mansour said, “is our effort to respond to what is happening in the Middle East by not putting the issue of the Palestinian question on the back burner but to put it on the front burner.”

The big question now will be whether the US will veto the resolution, or abstain from the vote.  There is a near-zero chance of the US voting in favor of it, especially after the criticism coming from both sides of the aisle in Congress.  But now that Rice has essentially ceded the point by offering a “presidential statement” that says essentially the same thing as the resolution, the US will have little credibility now on a veto.  Not only did Rice question Israel’s settlement activity in her proposal, she also called it a “serious obstacle to the peace process.”  If that’s true, even an abstention would look like a backtrack.  A veto would look ridiculous.

What do they call this conundrum at the White House?  Smart power …. only they don’t see the irony.


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Comments

Damn it Hillary where is that f****g reset button? I need it ASAP for the UN.

angryed on February 17, 2011 at 2:57 PM

So is Weiner now a racist?

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM

A feckless, groping strategy of no redeeming value.

ted c on February 17, 2011 at 3:00 PM

WTF!

darwin on February 17, 2011 at 3:00 PM

When you’re so off the reservation that Tony Dick is siding with the GOP, you’ve got problems.

Doughboy on February 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Not only did Obama sell out Israel and anger both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill

But only Republicans will punish him for this.

Democrats are all bark and no bite … let’s make sure the Republicans don’t turn out this way.

MeatHeadinCA on February 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

So is Weiner now a racist?

rbj on February 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM

No … Weiner is still just a weiner.

darwin on February 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

BTW, is Obama governing from the center yet?

MeatHeadinCA on February 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

“Those Who Bless Israel Will Be Blessed, and Those Who Curse Israel Will Be Cursed”

-God

jawkneemusic on February 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Why do the media continue to call Obama and his “smart”?

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Good to know that Tiny is actually not on the side of the vile anti-Semitism at the UN.

KingGold on February 17, 2011 at 3:05 PM

What do they call this conundrum at the White House? Smart power …. only they don’t see the irony.

Hey, wait a minute. Where would we be without smart power right now? Have you forgotten START?

a capella on February 17, 2011 at 3:05 PM

The Palestinian puppet terrorists do not want peace. They want all Jews driven into the sea (preferrably while wearing concrete galoshes) and they will settle for nothing less. Until they get this, or they themselves are utterly defeated, there will be no peace. Keep building those settlements, Israel. You have nothing of value to lose by doing so. Any consession to terrorist scum is bowing to the devil and didn’t God warn you about that?

SKYFOX on February 17, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Does ANYONE in the whole administration know what the hell they are doing? I mean, really?

search4truth on February 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM

If they were trying to compromise with the Palestinians, that makes them naive children.

The other possibility is that they agree with the Palestinians completely, but just don’t want to admit it in public.

I suspect it’s more the latter.

forest on February 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM

This is not the strategy of an amateur. This is the strategy of an administration with a clear set of goals. Goals for which we will pay long after BHO…

d1carter on February 17, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Where is the reset button for the 2008 election?

pedestrian on February 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Does ANYONE in the whole administration know what the hell they are doing? I mean, really?

search4truth on February 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM

No. But they know those dirty Jooos are a problem. All their Ivy league professors said so.

Kataklysmic on February 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Appease! Appease!

yubley on February 17, 2011 at 3:13 PM

I sense the equivalent of another vote of “present” from Teh One.

Tim Zank on February 17, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Not only did Obama sell out Israel and anger both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, he wound up with nothing to show for it anyway:

Obama has an agenda.

He is happy with the results. (Well, him and Jimmy Carter).

portlandon on February 17, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Does ANYONE in the whole administration know what the hell they are doing? I mean, really?

search4truth on February 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM

On the Job training always sucks.

portlandon on February 17, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Obama supports hatred of Israel. Now where is that video the LAT has of Obama celebrating with the Pali thugs? I wonder what he said, I wonder why it’s being suppressed to this very day.

clnurnberg on February 17, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Let’s face it. Rahm Emannuel was the only one in Obama’s circle that was keeping the White House from doing egregiously stupid things in the Middle East. Now that Rahm is gone, egregious stupid will be the new normal.

pedestrian on February 17, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Abstain in 5…4…3

cmsinaz on February 17, 2011 at 3:26 PM

What was that thing Obama said about improving our image around the world?

JellyToast on February 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Screw the Democrats…they all despise Israel behind closed doors. They are just mad that the President is outing them.

The Left is convinced that the majority of the problems in the world are caused by the US…and in the Middle East, Israel.

Asher on February 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Well, Obutthead is principled in one thing for sure. He IS standing with his Muslim brothers. Is he not???

capejasmine on February 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

You know, honestly getting this many decisions wrong accidentally violates the laws of probability. Even if Obama flipped a coin (in between holes while golfing) on every major decision he didn’t just punt down the road until later, he’d have a better track record than he does now.

How much will it take before people, other than folks here, see that all of these horrible, America-hurting decisions aren’t accidental or merely incompetant?

DrAllecon on February 17, 2011 at 3:35 PM

With all the turmoil circulating around the ME especially surrounding Israel, Obama & Rice were probably doing their best to green light the anti-Israeli sentiment with the cover of the UN resolution.

fourdeucer on February 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Is he not???

capejasmine on February 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Yes, he is.

This is not going to end well for anyone. I’m talking about this little trick and the whole uprising in the ME. When the rubber meets the road millions, maybe billions, of people will be killed.

Mirimichi on February 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Capitol Hill consensus: Obama screwed up on UN settlement resolution

(Corrected headline by removing superfluous text)

landlines on February 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM

What do they call this conundrum at the White House? Smart power ….

Let’s see….

Those stupid little death traps which can barely get up to 25 MPH on the highway are called “smart cars,” and unmitigated failure in foreign policy is called “smart power”…

This sounds suspiciously like:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

…got to go now…it’s time for the daily TWO MINUTES HATE…

/sarc>

landlines on February 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

The New Obama seems an awful lot like the Old Obama, just sayin….

jnelchef on February 17, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Hi guys

Finally I solved the 57 states mystery!

state. It is clear that in the absence of progress on Arab-Israeli peace, the United States decided it needed states such as Jordan and Egypt and heavily invested in them to keep them as peace partners for Israel. Had the Arab Peace Initiative succeeded and Israel secured a deal with Palestine, then Egypt and some of these other totalitarian regimes would “matter less” to the United States as Israel would have normalized relations with some 57 other Arab and Muslim countries.

ProudPalinFan on February 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Sorry meant to input that as a quote.

As for the end of times, yes it is coming soon. When Weiner calls Obama on something WE agree with-well, hell is freezing over and the horses have been unleashed.

ProudPalinFan on February 17, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Some how Smart Power always put us on the short end. I kinda like George’s Dumb Power much more.

Herb on February 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Why do the media continue to call Obama and his “smart”?

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

They are completely invested in this guy. They failed to vet him, they provided cover for him since the day it appeared he could take Hillary down. They will go down with this sinking ship because their intelligence has been vastly overrated also.

Keemo on February 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Bush’s fault…

right2bright on February 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Not only did Obama sell out Israel and anger both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, he wound up with nothing to show for it anyway:

Oh yes he did.

He gave the Palestinians carde blanche to attack the Israelis.

Kini on February 17, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Obama and Rice are just doing their master’s bidding… This is Soros through and through… They will never succeed in Destroying Israel..

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Hey American Jews, ummm, I guess this behavior still won’t affect your voting patterns will it?

scotash on February 17, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Fail to the Chief.

ronsfi on February 17, 2011 at 5:11 PM

And yet, my wonderful Jewish community here in LA will continue to support zero now and throughout the coming years.
All hail zero.

dragondrop on February 17, 2011 at 5:31 PM

This isn’t “smart power”, this is merely the Obama ideology in practice. Wouldn’t you love the country to have seen the LA Times-owned videotape of Obama speaking to members of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the PLO?

Sam Zell, this is your fault. You personally. You owned the Times during the election of 2008 and could have released the video. It might well have offended Americans enough to prevent the election of Obama, if the rumors are even partially true about what he said that night.

MTF on February 17, 2011 at 5:42 PM

where is the smart? where is the power?

georgealbert on February 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Well, Obutthead is principled in one thing for sure. He IS standing with his Muslim brothers. Is he not???

capejasmine on February 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Consitently

Tim_CA on February 18, 2011 at 12:23 AM

Why, why, why in the world does the Jewish community still mostly vote Democratic? Seriously? It makes no sense at all.

Theophile on February 18, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Fortunately, Obama vetoed it anyway.

The veto wasn’t “ridiculous.” And if you think the presidential statement said “essentially the same thing as the resolution,” you need to read them both again. As for the nattering about settlements being an obstacle to the peace process, we heard plenty of the same from the Rice in the last administration. What we didn’t hear (and so far thankfully haven’t heard from this one either) was that they’re “illegal.”

The fact that the UNSC is even discussing this right now is what’s ridiculous.

Lynn B. on February 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM