Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ZOA Critical Of Obama Admin. Failing To Alter Or Oppose UN Security Council Statement Criticizing Israel

(Via IMRA).The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed criticism of the
Obama Administration for the failure of the U.S. delegation to the United
Nation Security Council to alter or oppose the critical statements about
Israel following acts of Palestinian violence in Jerusalem last Friday.
Israeli police were forced to put an end to Palestinian rioters threatening
Jews at the Western Wall, beneath Temple Mount. The Jerusalem Post reported
that "Eighteen Israeli policemen were lightly wounded while attempting to
restore order after Arab youths emerging from Friday prayers started hurling
rocks down onto those worshiping at the Wall. Having restored calm by use of
stun grenades and following helpful intervention by other Muslim worshipers
to defuse the clash, police eventually withdrew in coordination with the
Wakf Islamic trust to allow older worshipers to leave the Mount"' (Abe
Selig, '"Israeli actions against int'l law,"' Jerusalem Post, March 7,

Yet, at the Security Council, Israeli security and police measures became
part of "provocative acts" by "all sides," thus failing to name culprits and
tarring legitimate Israeli security and police measures with the brush of
acts worthy of criticism, which were also described in having occurred in
"Palestinian territories."

Gabon's U.N. Ambassador Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, president of the Security
Council for March, said on behalf of a consensus of the Council that "The
members of the Security Council expressed their concern at the current tense
situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including east
Jerusalem . They urged all sides to show restraint and avoid provocative
acts." The permanent Palestinian observer to the United Nations, Riyad
Mansour, welcomed the Council statement, saying that the apparent U.S.
decision not to block it "is a signal that the United States wants this
effort to succeed" and Israel to restrain itself.

The U.S. has generally prevented Council issuing non-binding statements that
condemn Israel. In explanation as to why the U.S. had not done so on this
occasion, an unnamed U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
that that the American delegation had not agreed with the statement and said
it was adopted due to what the official described as "procedural confusion."
Yet, as the Reuters news reports notes, "It was not immediately clear what
the 'confusion' was . Several council diplomats familiar with the
negotiations on the statement, however, told Reuters that the U.S.
delegation made no attempt to raise any objections to the final version of
the text, which they said was adopted by consensus" (Louis Charbonneau,
'U.S. repudiates U.N. council remarks on Mideast clash,' Yahoo News, March
6, 2010).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "We are frankly critical of the
Obama Administration's failure to act. It should have had no hesitation
opposing a Security Council statement that likens wholly legitimate Israeli
police measures against acts of violence instigated by Palestinians as
'provocative acts.' This failure means that Israel is labeled responsible
for violence Palestinians start, which is both untrue and unwise. Such a
Council statement is itself a form of encouragement of Palestinian violence,
as it demonstrates that Palestinians can attack Jews without being
condemned, merely cautioned, along with Israelis who attacked noone.

"The words of the Palestinian observer, Riyad Mansour, show exactly why the
Obama Administration should have opposed it. Mansour correctly sees in this
statement world pressure on Israel, not on the Palestinian side, even after
having resorted to violence.

"It is obvious from what has been reported that the Obama Administration
took no steps to modify or oppose this statement, despite the contrary
statement of an unnamed American diplomat which does not tally with the
known facts. The Obama Administration should put itself on record as
opposing this statement and in condemning the Palestinian resort to
violence. Failure to do so only increases the likelihood of further
Palestinian assaults in the future."