Obama's Moment of Truth at the UN

(Commentary) Steven J. Rosen - Abbas is taking his campaign to the UN Security Council, where the Palestinians are circulating a draft resolution that would declare Israeli "settlements" in Jerusalem to be "illegal." The draft demands a halt to all construction in the eastern half of Israel's capital city. Successive administrations have deplored settlement activity as an obstacle to peace, but no American president since Jimmy Carter has taken the view that building Jewish homes in the West Bank or in east Jerusalem is "illegal." President Ronald Reagan rejected Carter's position and said the settlements were "ill-advised" and "unnecessarily provocative" but "not illegal." All American presidents since Reagan have taken this view. No president since Carter has permitted anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolutions on settlements to pass. Ronald Reagan vetoed two and Bill Clinton vetoed three draft resolutions condemning Israeli settlements. In all, seven American presidents have recorded 41 vetoes in Israel's defense at the UN Security Council. The Obama administration has declined up to now to say whether it would veto a draft resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem to be illegal. The writer, former foreign policy director of AIPAC, is director of the Washington Project at the Middle East Forum.

2011-01-07 08:01:55

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