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Is John Kerry’s policy speech on Israel a prelude to another UN Resolution?

Is John Kerry’s policy speech on Israel a prelude to another UN Resolution?

Why is Kerry giving a major policy speech barely three weeks before the end of Obama’s term?

On Christmas Day I posted how It ain’t over yet – Israelis worried about more Obama UN moves.

In that post I detailed Israeli distrust of Obama administration motives and plans after the anti-Israel Resolution 2334 passed in the Security Council on December 23, 2016.

There is substantial accumulating evidence to back up Israeli accusations it has “ironclad” information that the U.S. was behind the Resolution. Denials by the Obama administration have been curiously worded, such as denying the U.S. “drafted” the Resolution; but that’s not an answer to claims the U.S. was behind and encouraged the Resolution.

A key read is an article by Israeli investigative journalist Barak Ravid who writes at Haaretz, Britain Pulled the Strings and Netanyahu Warned New Zealand It Was Declaring War: New Details on Israel’s Battle Against the UN Vote (try here if link doesn’t work):

The suspicion in Jerusalem is that the British had been working during all those days for the Americans to make sure the resolution was to U.S. President Barack Obama’s liking, but without the need to intervene directly in formulating it.

“We know how to read Security Council resolutions,” a senior Israeli diplomat says. “This is not a text that was formulated by the Palestinians or Egypt, but by a Western power.” Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, said in interviews with the American media on Monday that Israel had proof that the Obama administration was behind the resolution and had formulated it. It is not clear whether this was what he meant….

A few hours before the vote, the prime minister called Russian President Vladimir Putin and tried to persuade him. Just the day before, Israel had acceded to a Russian request and had absented itself from a vote in the UN General Assembly on a resolution regarding war crimes in Syria.

It is not entirely clear what happened in the conversation between Netanyahu and Putin, but less than an hour before the vote a real drama took place at the UN headquarters in New York. While the Security Council member-states were preparing their speeches ahead of the vote and the public discussion that was held immediately that was to follow, the Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin suddenly asked for a closed consultation.

A Western diplomat said that Churkin shocked the other ambassadors of the 14 Security Council member-states when he proposed postponing the vote until after Christmas. There had not been enough discussion on the wording of the resolution, Churkin claimed, and said he was surprised at the haste of some of the countries to hold a vote as quickly as possible. The deputy Russian ambassador to Israel, Alexy Drobinin, confirmed this in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday morning.

Drobinin told Army Radio that Russia had objections to the timing of the resolution and that Russia’s representative in New York was the only one who asked to continue discussing it. Drobinin said it should be taken into consideration that a few weeks from now there would be a new administration in the United States, and that Russia was not satisfied with the way the resolution was brought to a vote. He said the problem was not the content, but the timing and the fact that the resolution related only to one out of the many core issues of the conflict.

But Churkin’s remarks fell on deaf ears. Most of the representatives at the meeting rejected them and demanded to move ahead on the vote as planned. A Western diplomat said that the Russian ambassador, who realized that he had not managed to garner support, backed down and summarized the consultation with a typically cynical remark about the proposal abandoned by Egypt – he said that never in his life had he seen so many people wanting to adopt an orphan so quickly.

The meeting ended, the ambassadors entered the Security Council chamber and a few minutes later they passed the resolution.

Those actions, at minimum, appear to have been sending signals through the British and others that the U.S. would not stand in the way assuming the wording was toned down from drafts circulated by the Palestinians. Coordination with New Zealand proved critical when Egypt dropped sponsorship, and pressure allegedly was put on Ukraine also. Russia, for its part, says it tried to delay a vote, but again U.S. pressure on other countries prevailed. There will be more on that in a later post.

The Israeli fear was that having passed Resolution 2334, Obama would then move to a Security Council resolution on the final status of the conflict, essentially imposing the U.S. view on the Israelis through the U.N.

The initial view was that John Kerry would give a speech at the Paris Peace Summit, which then quickly would be turned into a Summit communique and then a Security Council Resolution, to be voted on 2-3 days before Trump’s Inauguration.

The Obama administration has not ruled out further U.N. action, and Ben Rhodes, who is coordinating messaging for Obama (as he did on the Iran Nuclear Deal) evaded the question in an interview.

One possibility is that Kerry just wants to hear himself speak, in his delusion of grandeur. In that scenario, Kerry and Obama through Kerry just want to put out there what they think should happen. Perhaps then the Paris meeting will ratify that plan, without any UN action.

Or perhaps Kerry will make some major announcement that doesn’t require more action, such as a symbolic “recognition” of the “State of Palestine”.

But there is very little trust in Obama, considering how Resolution 2334 was sprung on the Israelis on almost no notice.

If Kerry’s speech is a key launching point, it appears that events are moving faster than expected. Kerry is not waiting for the Paris Summit, and will give his major policy speech tomorrow, December 28, at 11 a.m., live from the State Department.

Caroline Glick posted earlier today, when it was expected Kerry might even speak today, how she sees things playing out:

Here is what I think is a reasonable assessment of Obama’s likely timeline for action against Israel.

Today, December 27, 2016: John Kerry is scheduled to address the UN Security Council and lay out his blueprint for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

January 15, 2017: Kerry participates in French President Hollande’s summit along with other leaders of the so called Quartet. The Quartet produces a document ratifying Kerry’s speech as a unanimous position.

January 16, 2017: Obama makes a speech for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. In his speech he merges Palestinian statehood with the civil rights movement and announces it is time for Palestine to be formally recognized.

January 17, 2017: The Security Council convenes to ratify the Quartet’s blueprint for Palestine as a Security Council resolution. The resolution will probably only speak of a process of bringing Palestine in as a full member in order to prevent automatic US defunding of the UN in accordance with standing US law requiring a funding cut-off in response to any UN recognition of Palestine.

January 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated and presented with Obama’s fait accompli.

Obama has without a doubt been lobbying the incoming members of the Security Council to support this program, just as he lobbied the current members to support last Friday’s resolution.

The only person who can derail this operation is Donald Trump.

I don’t trust Obama either. I predicted several years ago and repeatedly since then, that when he was freed of any electoral concerns, he would seek to impose his view of a final status agreement on the Israelis.

Obama has a narrow window. Now that the presidential election is over, he has no concerns about hurting Democrats this election cycle. Yet he has precious little time left in his term. It’s now or never for Obama, and the Israelis.


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casualobserver | December 27, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Is there much doubt the plan is to announce the existence of the Palestinian state and then ram it through as a resolution at the UN?

    Humphrey's Executor in reply to casualobserver. | December 27, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    But there will be a delay, like it will take effect after the 2020 election, so as to minimize the damage to the Democrats if the spaghetti hits the fan.

Wrong that only Donald Trump can stop it. John F Kerry could for once in his life do the right thing and deliver an exit exposing the farce and all the players. He has nothing to lose and would make a single positive mark for himself in history. Not likely given is own past but just imagine the impact!

Conservative Beaner | December 27, 2016 at 8:46 pm

If the Dems think Russia did a good hack job and cost them the election I wonder what the Israelis will do. If there is an intelligence agency that can wreak havoc it is the Mossad.

    Israel will do what it has always done, it will protect Israel through whatever means necessary.

    The one bright spot in this my be the end of the need for discussion about Palestinian statehood, since one of the likely outcomes of this scenario would be for Israel to use its military to drive them out of the country. The funny part is by the time the UN decided to try and do anything about it Israel can have its borders secured and a nuke warming in the silo for anybody that decides to challenge the 5th strongest military on the planet.

    See people like Obama and Kerry are so arrogant they think they know that Israel will never use a military response, that is why they were caught off guard when Israel started that little shooting match a couple of years ago. Maybe someone should show them the movie “Munich” and remind them it’s a true story.

      Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      one of the likely outcomes of this scenario would be for Israel to use its military to drive them out of the country.

      The Israeli judiciary would never allow that. If the military were to do it, the high court would order the government to beg them to come back, and give them compensation. Israel’s biggest problem is not the Arabs but its own judiciary, and nothing will change until a government is prepared to face it down and put it in its proper place.

DieJustAsHappy | December 27, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Last year, if I recall correctly, there was a warning that BHO would make “audacious” decisions during the final year of his term. However one interprets these recent ones, I think their aim is to cause as much havoc for the incoming administration as possible as well as “twisting the knife” in the back of Israel.

I hope that Donald Trump, working in conjunction with Prime Minister of Benjamin Netanyahu, will do all within his power to right this situation. And, that history will judge Obama and Kerry as the vain and petty persons they are.

Am Yisrael Chi (The nation of Israel lives!)

i’d like to see President Trump announce that the US embassy for Israel will be re-located “This year in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital for for thousands of years.”

that will get panties in a bunch all over the world.

f them.

Fu#k Obama and Kerry. Israel and Trump will not stand for this.
And he will definitely defund the UN.

I think TRex should give a speech immediately after Kerry’s and say, “everything he said will be corrected on 1/20/17, and President Trump and I can’t wait to move the Embassy to Jerusalem on that day”.

Having failed to permanently damage the U.S., King Nothing turns his puerile temper on a US ally.

Good riddance, Barry.

    legalizehazing in reply to Same Same. | December 28, 2016 at 5:20 am

    My reaction too. Everything domestically basically looks relatively reversible.

    This is not. The lasting damage internationally is actually quite astounding.

May I add an event to the above timeline?

December 29th: PEOTUS Trump announces that any further action by the UN against the interests of Israel during the balance of Obama’s tenure as president will result in the suspension of all payments to the UN the day PEOTUS Trump becomes POTUS Trump. Further, all diplomatic privileges afforded by the US to those attending the UN will also be suspended.

Your move, POS Obama!

There is ample reason to be worried. Obama is definitely in “honey badger don’t care” mode.

Disgusting saboteur. Gutless coward.

Best I can say for him.

The real problem with this is NOT the UN. It is essentially powerless, unless the 1st World power states supply the power. The biggest threat here is that Arab states and Muslim organizations use this as an excuse to apply armed force against Israel. Under a Trump administration, the US WILL honor its treaty obligations to Israel. This could spark a Mideast war involving the US. If Turkey gets actively involved, it would likely be on the side of the Muslims. Then, depending upon events, the house of cards begins to collapse. We could see Russia moving into the Ukraine. Iran moving to expand control in the Persian Gulf. This could elicit a response from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, triggering further US involvement. And, it just degrades from there. Large scale US involvement, in the region, would reduce forces in the Pacific, clearing the way for Chinese expansion. And, of course, Islamic terrorist would crank up to a new level. If it became too burdensome for European nations, then they might well involve themselves militarily against Islamic terror organizations as well as their state sponsors.

Then we have the presence of nuclear weapons in this scenario. Israel is a nuclear power. And, according to reliable intelligence reports, so is Iran. Along with the older nuclear powers, the US, Russia, Pakistan and India, this provides a tinderbox that has not been seen since the Balkans in 1914. If a single nuke goes off in the region, including one in the hands of a terrorist organization, BOOOOOM.

So, either the Obama administration is making a real leap of faith, that no one will attempt to take advantage of the situation created by these resolutions OR they are hoping for just such a situation to develop. It is analogous to Saddam Hussein setting fire to Kuwaiti oilfields when he withdrew from that country in defeat, in 1991. This will be the first, and possibly the most important, foreign policy challenge faced by the Trump administration. And, it could have long lasting and, possibly, devastating results.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | December 28, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Don’t forget a possible nuclear response by Israel if things look bad, especially if Iran is involved.

    Though I do think that you are wrong concerning Turkey, I don’t think they will get involved, but they will deny the US use of airspace and the like.

    Yackums in reply to Mac45. | December 29, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Except the Palestinians have pretty much openly admitted that their endgame isn’t violent takeover of Israel by the Arab States, but rather the delegitimization and “closing up” of Israel in Europe (at the UN). The Arab armies won’t have to lift a finger (because they know they’ll get their asses kicked, just like every other time they tried). The “de-recognition” of Israel as a country, Israel has no counter for. A nuclear strike will just be considered post-facto justification.

      ConradCA in reply to Yackums. | December 29, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Sorry for down got. Far fingures.

      The US has a lot of leverage against the European countries who betray Israel. Congress could pass a law blacklisting countries who boycot Israel or take other measures that harm them

these dems think they are untouchable but getting to them wouldn’t be hard for those guys they get
to people in countries who kill kill them as soon as they catch them.with any luck demonkkkRATS
will start having weird “accidents”.

It would be pretty amusing if Putin steps up and veto’s this.

Why not? The new American administration would owe him big time, so would the Israelis, and by now Putin would love any chance to stick a finger in Obama’s eye.

After that, I wouldn’t doubt that both Israel and the US would say “ok, Russia, you want Syria, you got it. Do whatever.”

    Hm. My first thought was ‘fat chance’ but the longer I think about it, the more sense it makes. Putin is in it for the long haul, and the potential for this to blow up (literally) across the Middle East *and* southern Russia makes it possible, but not probable. (Think of how many Arab toes they would stomp on by such a vote)

If Obama and Kerry continue on this path, I’d love to see Trump hold a press conference and announce that beginning on the day of his inauguration, any aggression towards Israel will be forcefully responded to by the United States. I’m tired of these stupid games designed to “keep the peace” that are always paid for in Israeli blood. The Palestinians have done nothing to earn their own country, in fact, every action they have taken shows they will be a permanent threat to Israel. They can either live under Israeli rule of they can hightail it to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and see if their “brothers” care about them as much as they claim.

    Arminius in reply to Sanddog. | December 28, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I’d rather see Trump shut off all utility service to the UN building and tell them to sit on this and twirl. See how long it lasts when the toilets don’t flush.

    If he does that, I take back everything I said about him and his supporters.

    SeniorD in reply to Sanddog. | December 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Add to that, UN Diplomats MUST repay NYC traffic fines before their PNG departure.

legalizehazing | December 28, 2016 at 5:13 am

This is so bitter. The optimists among us for 8 years have been saying at least his policies are fairly reversible. Now the economic stagnation and rabid anti-energy is one thing… but the devastation and chaos this president unleashed on the rest of the world is still significantly mounting.

Philipines Turkey Egypt good US allies undergoing unusual regime changes becoming significantly less safe for Americans AND American interests. Israel Betrayed. Syria, Iraq, Lybia, Yemen, and East Africa Iranian chaos and evil is spreading. Syria and Ukraine..

Has there ever been as dangerous a 25 days in lame duck history

Anyone remember the Israeli worm ‘Stuxnet’? Just saying.