The Nays Got It

Tuesday night, the United Nations Security Council failed to get the nine out of 15 votes needed to push through the resolution to establish a sovereign Palestinian state.

U.N. News Centre reported: “Falling short of the required number of positive votes and faced with a veto from one of its permanent members, the United Nations Security Council today failed to adopt a draft resolution that would have affirmed the ‘urgent need’ to reach within 12 months a peaceful solution to the situation in the Middle East and would have paved the way to a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.”

The resolution, as was introduced by Israel’s “ally” Jordan, also would have called for the “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from Yehudah and Shomron by the end of 2017.

The nays had it. But the nays didn’t just have it; they got it. The United States and Australia saw through Mahmoud Abbas’s gambit and refused to be duped. Both countries voted against the resolution.

Lacking the courage of the U.S. and Australia, Britain and four other countries at least abstained. This dodge was enough for the measure to fail. It also saved the United States from having to resort to a veto.

To their everlasting dishonor, France, China, Russia, Luxembourg and four other countries voted for the resolution.

François Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, did say that France questioned some elements of the resolution. But they voted for it because there was “an urgent need to act.”

This calls to mind the story of the fellow who faints in shul. People milled around, not knowing what to do. Suddenly, the gabbai picked up a chair and tossed it through a window — sending slivers of glass in every direction.

“What did you do that for?!” shouted the Rabbi.

“Well, somebody had to do something!”

But the U.S. got it right this time. While we have often been disappointed — and even dismayed — by statements and actions of Secretary of State John Kerry, he deserves much credit for heading off this potential disaster.

Kerry tried to push off a vote on the resolution. True, he may have been motivated by not wanting to strengthen Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s position in the upcoming elections. But the bottom line is that this should not be construed as meddling in Israel’s internal affairs. If someone does the right thing, even for the wrong reasons, he is still praiseworthy.

When Kerry traveled to Europe in December, it was clear that the Palestinians would push for the vote. So he used an old baseball ploy. Seeing the Palestinian fastball heading for the strike zone, instead of taking a full swing, he bunted — he lightly tapped the ball, making it hard to field.

That bunt was enough to move the runners ahead and bring in the winning run.

Jeff Rathke, a State Department spokesman, said Tuesday that Mr. Kerry had called 13 senior foreign officials over the previous few days, including a call Tuesday afternoon to Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria, which abstained.

After the vote, Samantha Power, permanent representative of the U.S. to the U.N., said that the U.S. is for constructively supporting both parties in achieving a negotiated settlement. But she said, “This resolution is not one of those constructive steps,” and that it would set the stage for “more division, not compromise.”

Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, explained that the real goal of the resolution was to undermine the foundations of all prior agreements, which were predicated on the stipulation that “any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be reached through direct negotiations between the parties.”

The resolution is not only morally reprehensible — which doesn’t seem to be a problem for most governments — but it is also counterproductive:

“The draft resolution that was rejected exposes the strategy adopted by Mahmoud Abbas… He does not want to negotiate with Israel. Instead, he seeks to use international institutions in order to impose a solution on Israel. That is a course of action that no Israeli government can accept and the international community should not give it any support if it wants to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved.”

No surprise, Riyad Mansour, permanent observer for the “State of Palestine,” said “The Security Council has once again failed to uphold its Charter duties.” And he blamed it on “Israeli intransigence.”

“Intransigence” is doublespeak for stubborn refusal to accommodate or compromise.

Odd, isn’t it, how those Israelis refuse to compromise with terrorist murderers and accommodate their requests.