Former NSC official Abrams: White House doesnt support Israel
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the Obama Administration for its failure to stand up for Israel, as would have past U.S. administrations, over the anti-Israel offensive within the United Nations in the past week over the Gaza flotilla clash. In the U.N. Security Council, the Obama Administration agreed to a statement which condemned the acts that led to loss of life on the Gaza flotilla. The statement was watered down by the U.S. so as not condemn Israel by name, but it nonetheless reads as a thinly-veiled condemnation of Israel and has been widely received as such in the Middle East. Yet, the Obama Administration could have refused and vetoed this or any statement ignoring the illegal attempt by the ship Mavi Mamara to break Israels blockade of Gaza and the assault on the Israeli boarding party initiated by the Hamas supporters aboard the ship, but did not do so.
Also, in an interview with Larry King on CNN, President Obama spoke of the need for an inquiry into the violence that met international standards which means that an Israeli investigation that would never be accepted by the Arab and Muslim states, despite Israels strong judiciary and rule of law, would be insufficient.
As former National Security Council official Elliot Abrams wrote of this recently-passed UN Security Council resolution on the Gaza flotilla, no one is fooled: the world media keep repeating that the Security Council condemned Israel, and in this case it is hard to argue. Yet it would have been simple to stop the mob had the White House wanted to. The facts were not in yet and indeed are still not in. The videos suggest that dozens of people (all Turks, it appears, but that too is not fully clear) on the boats were armed and dangerous. Reports are circulating here that some of those peace activists had gas masks and night vision devices, carried no identification papers, wore bullet-proof vests, and carried large amounts of cash. The background, the Hamas coup in Gaza and more than three thousand rockets into Israel from Gaza, is clear. The fact the Egypt has for three years (until the pressure mounted this week) refused to open its border to Gaza is understood at the UN. So the material was at hand to block the lynch mob and say we would accept only a statement that mourned the loss of life. We did not have to accept the word condemn or join in the call for another Goldstone Report So why did we agree to the presidential statement? The White House did not wish to stand with Israel against this mob because it does not have a policy of solidarity with Israel (Joining the Jackals, Weekly Standard, June 2, 2010).
Legal authority and UN expert Professor Anne Bayefsky of the Hudson Institute wrote, [President Obama
permitted a unanimous UN Security Council presidential statement calling for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards. Predictably, within 24 hours that call was duly translated by the UN Human Rights Council into a call for an international investigation of what it had already condemned as the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces. Though the US finally voted against the HRC resolution (after first suggesting it was open to a decision reproducing the Security Council statement), by that point the damage done by the president leaping on the Security Council bandwagon had been done. Moreover, since the Obama administration decided to join the HRC and to pay for it, American taxpayers will cover 22 percent of the $530,000 estimated costs of the HRC-sponsored investigation (New levels of low, Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We are strongly critical of the Obama Administrations failure to stand by Israel in UN forums, dominated by dictators and despotisms, that seek to condemn Israel for enforcing a lawful blockade, while ignoring the Islamist terrorists and their supporters who tried to breach the blockade and who initiated violence against a lawful Israeli boarding party. The issue here is clear-cut will the Obama Administration do the right thing and reject this assault on Israel at the UN, or will it try to appease the dictators and despots who seek to criminalize Israels rightful self-defense and break Israels lawful blockade of Gaza by making internationally damaging for Israel to maintain. It chose the latter in the Security Council, with the result that a more vicious anti-Israel resolution was proposed and passed in the Human Rights Council. The Obama Administration did not lead in the Security Council and it had no influence in the Human Rights Council.
The Obama Administrations course from the outset should have been clear, but President Obama, as his remarks to Larry King show, bears full responsibility for not taking this course of action.