Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trump’s victory put kibosh on Obama's Last Minute Action on Israel!

Adios El Presidente

US officials: "Obama has nearly ruled out UN action on Israel"

President Barack Obama has nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, US officials said, indicating Obama will likely avoid one last row with Israel’s government as he leaves office.

Discussions about those potential maneuvers, underway before the US election, have fallen off since Donald Trump’s surprise victory, officials said. Obama is now highly unlikely to approve either of those options presented to him by US diplomats, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss internal deliberations and requested anonymity.
Officials left open the possibility that Obama could address the Mideast issue in a more limited way, short of weighing in on the contours of a future peace accord, before leaving office.
The White House and the Israeli Embassy in Washington both declined to comment.
Obama’s reluctance to upset the status quo in his final months in part reflects his desire to protect his legacy of support for the Jewish state. Though he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have disagreed sharply on Israeli settlements and the Iran nuclear deal, Obama recently signed an unprecedented military aid deal worth $38 billion over the next decade.
Avoiding a last-minute fight also allows Obama’s successor to approach the Israeli-Palestinian issue unencumbered by a diplomatic hangover.
Anticipating that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the White House race, the Obama administration had examined ways for Obama to more explicitly detail what he sees as obstacles to a breakthrough — such as continued Israeli settlement-building in West Bank lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. Clinton, who ran on a pledge to strongly support Israel, could have softened the tone upon taking office, potentially enough to lure both parties back to the table.
Trump’s election dramatically changed the calculus.
The Republican Party and many Trump supporters are vehemently opposed to UN actions targeting Israel. So any action by Obama would put Trump on the defensive, potentially aggravating him and forcing him to respond publicly.
That could lead Trump to stake out a hard-line stance in opposition to Obama, in turn making it difficult for him to play a neutral arbiter between Israelis and Palestinians in the future. Trump has voiced interest in being the president to finally solve the Mideast conflict and has suggested his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could be the one to broker a deal.
Netanyahu has said little about Trump’s victory beyond congratulating him — possibly in an attempt to avoid antagonizing Obama while he is still in office. He’s ordered his Cabinet not to comment on the election results and told his ministers not to speak to Trump’s transition team.
Though Obama and his aides have generally avoided speaking publicly about options being considered, they have conspicuously avoided ruling anything out. Officials maintained that all options remain on the table, unlikely at this point as they may be.
Maintaining ambiguity about what Obama might do could preserve any leverage the president still has over Israel’s government. Removing the threat of US action, on the other hand, could embolden Israeli hard-liners and amplify calls for increased settlement construction and even the annexation of parts of the West Bank.
But House Foreign Relations Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said there’s a problem with Obama’s unpredictability.
“If you are heavily signaling that you’re not going to oppose and veto UN Security Council resolutions that seek to impose one-sided solutions, the consequence is others will take your measure, and the momentum will build, given the natural attitudes at the UN,” Royce said in an interview. Israel’s supporters consider the UN to be strongly anti-Israel given its history of approving resolutions condemning Israel.
The House this week passed a non-binding bill sponsored by Royce and his Democratic counterpart urging Obama to continue blocking resolutions that attempt to impose preconditions on a peace deal. The bill passed with support from House GOP leadership and lawmakers of both parties.

1 comment:

AishKodesh said...

Baruch Dayan HaEmes. May Hashem place his Neshama in a lofty place in Shamayim, Amein.

Oh and, DIN, thank you for posting something.