By Harry Ben-Zvi and Gidon Ben-Zvi
The December 23, 2016 UN vote proves that President Barack Obama only paid lip service to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict during his eight years in office. Turns out that this proud progressive’s real goal all along was to bring the last colonial outpost in the world to heel. Since it’s not politically correct for a US President to call for the demise of the Jewish state, a death by a thousand UN resolutions will have to suffice.
Next stop: international sanctions against Israel.
The Obama administration’s decision to abstain on UN Resolution 2334 has even outraged leading Congressional Democrats, who maintain that a two-state solution must be negotiated directly between the Israelis and Palestinians. However, even good liberals like Jerrold Nadler, Richard Blumenthal, Hakeem Jeffries, Adam Schiff, Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden are missing the point. The abstention wasn’t merely a drastic change in tactics, meant to force Israel to accept the inevitability of a Palestinian state without direct negotiations. Rather, the UN vote was a vote for Arab rejectionism, a codification of a perpetual state of conflict between the oppressor Jews and the oppressed Muslims.
Single handedly, President Obama has sought to reverse the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement that facilitated one of the great land grabs in history. As a result of this deal, Britain and France divvied up much of the post-World War I Middle East.
In the next significant example of colonial meddling in the Middle East, a Hashemite from Arabia, Prince Abdullah I, was convinced by Secretary of State for the Colonies Winston Churchill to not aid brother Faisal’s war against the new French Mandate in Syria.
In return, Abdullah I was rewarded with 75% of the new British Mandate of Palestine.
Long before the two-state solution was embraced by effete diplomats and tenured college professors, there was the 1936 British Peel Commission that would have divided the remaining 25% of Mandatory Palestine into two nations: one Arab, one Jewish.
Setting the stage for the next 80 years of Jewish compromises being met with Arab rejectionism, the expansionist minded Abdullah I spurned the deal, despite early Zionists leaders’ reluctant acceptance of the Peel Commission.
United by a desire to rid the region of European Jewish interlopers, Arab leaders overcame their rivalries and joined forces to violently protest the British administration of the Palestine Mandate.
Another swipe against colonial intervention was the UN partition plan of 1947, which Zionist leaders approved and the Arab world reacted to by launching another war to make the region Judenrein.
However, desperate for international legitimacy, Israel continued to play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules of statecraft, instead of annexing Judea and Samaria in 1956, 1967, or 1973.
Yet basing international relations on a playbook written at 10 Downing Street inadvertently provided fodder for Barack Obama, Security of State John Kerry and other self-described progressives, who see the world through an anti-colonialist lens. Israel’s desire to simply exist among the family of nations is perceived as a continuation of arbitrarily drawn imperial borders that are to blame for all that’s wrong with the Middle East today.
Based on his outsourcing of US Middle East policy to Shiite Iran and Sunni Turkey, along with his lackluster support for the Kurds, Christians and Jews in the Middle East, one can posit that Barack Obama is at peace with the idea of pan-Islamism.
Guided by an anti-colonialist belief that rich European countries got rich by looting the indigenous populations of poor Middle Eastern countries, Obama took a small step to right this historic injustice at the United Nations, when he launched a direct assault on Israel’s right to exist.
Check out other essays by Gidon Ben-Zvi that have been published by United with Israel.