On Dec. 23, U.S President Barack Obama chose not to use the U.S. Veto against the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which states that Israel′s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity.” Nearly a week later, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech critical of, among other things, Israeli settlements. What does this mean for Israel?
Two of our regular CJN columnists, Mordechai Ben-Dat and Mira Sucharov, and two guest writers, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Hart Schwartz, past president of JSpaceCanada, offer their opinions on these critical events.
Mordechai Ben-Dat: “The reversal of U.S. policy by President Barack Obama toward Israel at the UN Security Council last month was stunning. His decision not to veto the anti-settlement resolution was inconsistent with prior decisions, substantively flawed, patently punitive, transparently vindictive and potentially very harmful to the actual attainment of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
Mira Sucharov: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Dec. 28 speech following the American abstention on the recent UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity (along with Palestinian terrorism and incitement) provides at least three major takeaways. First, the reaction by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs gives us reason to be suspicious of the way the self-described Israel lobby for Canada’s Jewish community reasons through political matters.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel: “January begins with tension between Israel and the United States. The American decision to allow the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements – including Jewish neighbourhoods in parts of Jerusalem – and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent speech on Israel have proven polarizing and unhelpful to the cause of peace.”
Hart Schwartz: “It is disturbing to hear the response from many that we should all ‘Stand with Israel’ in the aftermath of outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s stunning rebuke. To treat any criticism of Israel or its government as a challenge to the very existence of the Jewish state is the worst form of slippery slope argumentation. It is devoid of nuance, or even recognition that one can be more supportive of Israel by criticism than by unquestioning praise.”