How U.S. Abstention at UN Broke with Past U.S. Policy

(RealClearPolitics) Peter Berkowitz - Addressing the UN Security Council to explain America's abstention on Resolution 2334, Ambassador Samantha Power stated, "Our vote today is fully in line with the bipartisan history of how American presidents have approached both the issue - and the role of this body." That's false. While previous administrations have criticized settlements as bad policy, it is the Obama administration that deviates from longstanding American practice by maintaining that every last inch of the West Bank is lawfully Palestinian land. In the very 1982 address on the Middle East that Power cites in defense of Resolution 2334, President Reagan declared, "In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel's population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again." Moreover, the peace agreement that President Clinton negotiated at the July 2000 Camp David summit, as well as the December 2000 Clinton parameters, envisaged Israel retaining control of population centers beyond the Green Line. So did President George W. Bush's 2004 letter of understanding to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which explicitly rejected a return to the 1967 lines. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) both recognized that the 1949 lines were not sacrosanct. The writer is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

2017-01-09 00:00:00

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