The Honourable Joe Volpe, Publisher
TORONTO - No, there is no “international crisis”, nor even a “crisis in Israeli-US relations”. The latest vote at the Security Council regarding the legitimacy of the settlements on what have been regarded as occupied (by Israel) territories did not come out of the blue.
It was weeks if not months in the making. The outcome equally predictable – except that, this time, the USA chose not to exercise its veto to Israel’s advantage. The other Permanent members of the Security Council (Britain China, France and Russia) have never hesitated “to be more objective” than the USA has been.
The decision will not be reversed.
That explains, in part, why Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, exploded in expressions of verbal apoplexy toward president Barack Obama and the USA for their decision to halt their traditional “Israel is right no matter what” approach. Bibi had taken it for granted that despite all the signs to the contrary, the USA would fall into line.
He’s bitter. No there will not be a war. Nor will there be any increase in terrorism. Negotiations will the Palestinians will be more difficult for him.
He is full crisis management mode, flaying about, as is his practice, to cast aspersion and blame on everyone but himself.
If he has been helpful in any of the real crises that have led to war, devastation and socio-political upheaval in the Middle East during the last two mandates of the US Presidency, it is not in the realm of knowledge that can be shared without breaching National Security.
On the thawing of relations between Iran and the USA, he has been decidedly unhelpful. In fact, he rarely missed an opportunity to dump all over it. His silence on the Russian participation in the Syrian Civil War – next door to Israel – speaks to his lack of concern for humanitarian issues and for the political dislocation of the USA in their “traditional sphere of influence”.
The Obama Administration may have done the incoming Trump Administration (Deal Makers according to advance billing) a huge favour by asking publicly – via their abstention - “what does Israel bring to the table?”
Bibi’s efforts to “delegitimize” and denigrate the vote are not likely to enhance his position anywhere else. It will not have warmed the hearts of the Ambassadors posted in Israel from the 15 Nations seated around the Security Council table, on Christmas Day, to be summoned to explain themselves.
What he hopes to prove by victimizing himself with references to “betrayal” and having “iron-clad proof” of same (“unnamed Arab sources”, people whom he has variously described as being genetically incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction) is anybody’s guess.
Except that his target audience is almost exclusively and always his electorate at home. Or his donors in the Diaspora. In the election leading to the 19th Knesset (Parliament), the Jerusalem daily, Ha’aretz, reported that 44 out of 47 donors to Bibi’s campaign were from outside Israel’s borders.
Maybe those Donors …”have Trump” to deliver to Bibi. They may also wish to refund the USD 38 billion, ten year Arms deal that Obama recently gifted to Israel.