Samantha Power Downgrades the U.S.-Israel Alliance

Testifying to Congress last week, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power refused to guarantee that the U.S. will oppose resolutions on Palestinian statehood at the UN. She did, however, reassure her audience that “we have a record of standing when it matters with Israel.” When, wonders Shoshana Bryen, does “it matter”?

Power’s testimony may have completed the transition of the U.S. from Israel’s ally in its quest for legitimacy and security in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, to an arbiter between Israel and those who seek to erase it. Power appears also to have completed the transition of Israel’s status—in the eyes of the U.S. government—as the party whose legitimacy and permanence in the Middle East remains challenged by all but Egypt and Jordan, to the country that bears an obligation to “fix” the problems that animate its enemies.

The “peace process,” first codified in the Oslo Accords, commits Israel and the Palestinians to resolve differences bilaterally, not through the dictates of a third party or organization. No one thought it would be easy, but successive U.S. administrations ensured that the UN—which Israel finds hopelessly biased against its interests—would not have veto power or enforcement power. Now it may. Power and the U.S. have thrown in the towel on an issue that “matters” to Israel.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Israel & Zionism, Peace Process, Samantha Power, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, US-Israel relations

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy