Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog
 Printer Friendly


One of the verses of our prayers on the eve of the Sabbath states that the end of the action reveals the original thought in the matter. Naturally the prayer refers to God and the process of creation as it is revealed throughout the week and through the ages. The Jewish people have been struck by the adverse, and nevertheless collectively applied it to many situations in life.

In many instances in life we don’t know exactly what someone else is thinking or truly believing, but their behavior and action at the end reveals their original intent. In my opinion, this certainly is true regarding the abstention of the United States regarding the Security Council’s resolution against Israel that recently passed. It is long been obvious that Pres. Obama does not like Prime Minister Netanyahu. But we were naïve enough to believe that his personal animus would not carry over against the state of Israel itself.
After all, Obama has allowed Israel to purchase very advanced weaponry and technology that certainly continues to give Israel a qualitative edge over its enemies here in the volatile Middle East. He has also sent Secretary of State Kerry here numerous times to try and resuscitate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. And though we were always troubled by his ambivalence and his weakness in front of Islamic terrorism, somehow we convinced ourselves that he was not a broken reed and when push came to shove we could rely upon the United States doing the right thing in support of Israel.
Well, the abstention of the United States regarding the Security Council resolution has dramatically proven that our confidence was sorely misplaced.
President Obama began his presidency with a speech in Cairo in which he pretty much threw Israel under the bus. He hoped to win the Moslem world to his side and seemed ready to sacrifice Israel in the process. However, the Moslem world somehow had no faith in him either and after a period of time it became clear that the Cairo speech was nothing more than a speech.
Through all this, we felt that the American commitment to Israel, which Pres. Obama himself has always reaffirmed, especially at election time, would remain firm and reliable. The American policy always was a logical one. Since the parties themselves could not come to an agreement, the UN and outside parties would somehow impose a settlement. 
As long as Israel retained leverage – control of the West Bank and the creation of settlement blocs – the negotiating table could be a fairly balanced one and the chances for a positive agreement would be enhanced. However, the United Nations resolution has now seriously weakened Israel’s leverage and negotiating ability. Instead of facilitating an agreement between the parties, the resolution makes such an agreement an even more distant and unlikely event.
There is no question in my mind that the United States State Department recognized and recognizes this fact of diplomatic life. So, why the abstention?
It reveals to us Pres. Obama’s distaste for Israel from the beginning. He comes from a Chicago church that had as its preacher a bigoted, Jew-hating person whose sermons were inciting and not insightful. Though his advisers, cabinet, Supreme Court picks, major donors and electorate were disproportionately Jewish, many of them were no longer advocates for the state of Israel. They succumbed to the siren song of the Left that Israel is to be punished for existing and being successful while the poor Palestinians, corrupt and violent as they are, somehow are entitled to be rewarded for their hatred and duplicity.
President Obama, as a lame-duck president, has revealed by his parting gift what his innermost thoughts and policies regarding Israel were all along, during his eight years as president. I think there is no other reasonable explanation for this breach of American commitment and trust. It is not only personal pique that has driven this decision, though a great deal of that is undoubtedly present as well, but it is a determination to change long standing policies in such a way that they cannot easily be reversed no matter what the mood of the American people may be and no matter the wishes of the succeeding president.
President Obama has always felt that he and he alone knows what is best for the United States and for the world generally. He is never wrong. And that personal hubris was revealed in the abstention on the vote in the Security Council condemning Israel.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein

Subscribe to our blog via email or RSS to get more posts like this one.