The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is perplexed by the striking and troubling contrast between the U.S. response to a damaging Turkish vote against a new U.N. Security Council sanctions bill on Iran and the U.S. reaction to Israels announcement of new construction in Jerusalem in March.
Responding to the Turkish vote, the Obama Administration merely said it was disappointed, while in contrast it responded to Israels announcement with the words condemn, insult, and affront.
In March, Vice-President Joseph Biden responded to the news of the Israeli housing project announcement during his visit to Israel by saying I immediately condemned the action (Remarks by Vice President Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, March 10, 2010). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described it as being not only an insult to Biden, but an insult to the United States (Moshe Dann, A blessing in disguise, Yediot Ahronot, March 15, 2010). Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod called it destructive, an affront and an insult (Israeli settlement action an insult: Obama aide, Yahoo News, March 14, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, On a matter of vital concern to the United States national security placing new sanctions on Iran, which is continuing its drive to obtain nuclear weapons Turkey, votes against and all the Obama Administration can say is that it is disappointed. The Obama Administration does not say it is insulted or affronted, or that Turkeys vote is destructive or an insult to the United States, which labored for months to obtain a resolution.
Iran has threatened both Israel and the U.S. many times, saying the days of both countries are numbered. Iranian leaders have spoken of using nuclear weapons to eliminate Israel. There is also the real prospect of Iran passing nuclear weapons to terrorist enemies of the U.S. No issue could therefore be more serious to American national security, yet Turkeys opposition to U.S. efforts to pass new sanctions in the UN Security Council is not condemned or treated as the affront and insult that it truly is.
The Obama Administrations reaction to the Turkish vote only underscores the bias and hostility of its policy towards Israel. Israeli actions as minor as a housing project announcement incur unusual, severe criticism from this Administration, while other countries, including an erstwhile ally like Turkey that has been opposing American interests for years, are handled with kid gloves.
This failure to condemn or criticize Turkeys acts is part of a wider pattern. For example, President Obama and his Administration have never condemned Palestinian Arab actions of naming streets, schools and sports teams after suicide bombers, or the Palestinian Authority (PA) refusing to arrest terrorists, or PA leaders calling Jew-killers heroes and martyrs, as they do routinely. They have never condemned the often vicious anti-U.S. rhetoric that appears in PA publications. The Obama Administration has never said these PA actions are destructive or an insult or an affront to Americas strong interest in Middle East peace on the rare occasions that they have referred to Palestinian incitement.