A Boycott of Lebanon for Defying the Security Council? Unlikely

Jan. 11 2017

In 2004, 2005, and 2006, the United Nations Security Council passed resolutions calling on the Lebanese government to disband and disarm any militias within its borders—a clear, although not explicit, reference to Hizballah. Beirut, however, has done nothing to comply, and the newly elected government has all but announced that it has no intention to do so. Nevertheless, a White House spokesman has praised it for working “to uphold and implement Lebanon’s international commitments.” Where, wonders Elliott Abrams, are the calls to boycott and sanction Lebanon?

What happens when UN Security Council resolutions are ignored? That depends, really—on whether you are any of 192 other members of the United Nations, or are Israel. . . .

Of course the two situations are not comparable—not when you consider that Hizballah is a murderous terrorist group that kills people every day, and was likely involved in killing Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s father Rafik in 2005. . . . So one can sympathize with Saad Hariri and other Lebanese politicians when they bow to Hizballah. . . .

But the fact remains that Lebanon is defying the Security Council very clearly and very deliberately, and no one says a word about it (except to applaud). No one is threatening a boycott of Lebanese goods until it complies. No one is suggesting that Lebanese politicians are violating international law by their complicity with and now official defense of Hizballah. Actually, some pressure from the West might be useful in empowering and emboldening Lebanese politicians who are trying to resist Hizballah, and risking their lives by doing so. But that’s not the point here. The point is that plenty of countries defy the UN but in very, very few cases is this even noticed, and in fewer still is anyone punished.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations

Israel Has Survived Eight Years of Barack Obama’s False Friendship

Jan. 20 2017

In his speech justifying America’s decision to allow passage of the UN Security Council resolution declaring it a violation of international law for Jews to live in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “friends need to tell each other the hard truths.” John Podhoretz comments:

The decision in December by President Obama to abstain on the UN Security Council vote . . . marked the moment he crossed the finish line in the course he had charted from 2008 onward. The turn against Israel was complete. And, as he had when he began it, in farewell interview after farewell interview he characterized his assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land as an act of tough love. . . .

Which raises the key question: why [only] abstain [from the resolution]? If “hard truths” define friendship, then by all means they should have made the truths as hard as possible. If Barack Obama and John Kerry truly believe the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem is illicit, then they should have voted for the resolution. Instead, they took the coward’s way out. They opened the vault to the criminals and placed the jewels in their hands while wearing white gloves so there would be no residual trace of their fingerprints. The abstention was in some weird sense the mark of their bad conscience. They wanted something to happen while maintaining some historical deniability about their involvement in it.

In the eight years of the Obama presidency, war broke out twice between the Palestinians and the Israelis and nearly broke out a third time. In each case, the issue was not the West Bank, or east Jerusalem, or anything near. . . . The idea that the settlements and the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem are the main barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinians was proved to be a lie right before Obama’s eyes in 2009, and 2012, and 2014. And he didn’t care to see it, because he is blinded by an antipathy he wishes to ascribe to Israeli action when honesty would compel him to find it in his own misguided leftist ideology—or within his own soul.

Israel has survived the horrendous blessing of Barack Obama’s false friendship.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Israel & Zionism, John Kerry, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations