For eight years, countless liberal Jews and other supporters of Israel have insisted that Obama is resolutely pro-Israel. By refusing to veto the U.N. resolution today, Obama has just thrown all of them under the bus. Elliott Abrams has a more exhaustive take that is very much worth reading. I’ll just focus on a few points of my own.
Unlike his ban on offshore oil drilling or his other regulatory schemes to hamper Donald Trump or pad his legacy, this move doesn’t help Democrats or hurt Donald Trump, but rather the other way around. This move will infuriate many pro-Israel Democratic donors and further cement the view that the Democratic party, in its heart, is no longer a pro-Israel party. That is a gift to Donald Trump. It may even increase the likelihood that he moves the embassy to Jerusalem.
It is now the official position of the United States of America that the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians. That is madness.
Moreover, while this move is definitely bad for Israel, it is a gift to Bibi Netanyahu who can now more easily argue to Israelis that the bad relationship with America these last eight years wasn’t his fault — but Obama’s.
And what, exactly, are the benefits to this move? Surely the Obama administration thinks this will produce some tangible benefit? I’ll leave that to that modern day Metternich, Ben Rhodes, to explain:
I asked Ben Rhodes what this move accomplishes. "Where is the evidence that not doing this will slow settlement construction?," he says.
— Michael Wilner (@mawilner) December 23, 2016
It really is remarkable. Obama came into office convinced that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was the key to Middle East peace. Never mind that on his watch the Middle East has become an abattoir over issues that have little to nothing to do with Israel or the Palestinians, possibly his last overture to the region before he heads out the door is to screw Israel for no other discernable reason than that he can finally get away with it.