Oddly Enough, Obama May Have Done the Nation A Huge Favor Today

In this photo provided by the United Nations, members of the United Nations Security council vote at the United Nations headquarters on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for its practice of establishing settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. In a striking rupture with past practice, the U.S. allowed the vote, not exercising its veto. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)

As my colleague Andrea Ruth reported a short while ago, the Obama administration has banded with such exemplars of democracy as Egypt and denounced Israel building settlements on its own territory. It was a decision that was not in the best interests of the United States or of peace in the region. It was the petty and vindictive act of a petty and vindictive little man that will make that area of the world more dangerous.


The White House’s decision to break with decades of U.S. policy and allow the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements is the culmination of years of bad blood between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The decision won Obama criticism from across the political spectrum, and almost certainly wouldn’t have been made if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election.

It opened him up to condemnation from President-elect Donald Trump and the right, and could lead to a battle over U.S. funding for the U.N. in Congress.

But Obama’s team decided it was worth it.

Make no mistake about it, this was not some random act by a random state, the Obama administration was actively involved in ensuring this resolution moved forward. This via the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Israel categorically rejects the despicable anti-Israeli resolution at the UN, and will not adhere to it,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a seething statement after the council voted in favor of the motion 14-0.

“While the Security Council does nothing to prevent the massacre of half a million people in Syria, it is shamefully singling out Israel — the only democracy in the Middle East,” the PMO said.

“The Obama administration not only failed to defend Israel from this harassment at the UN, it cooperated with it behind the scenes.”


Obama may inadvertently have done us a huge favor as he headed for the exit.

And this


All things considered, this vote could not have come at a better time. We need to revisit our role in these organizations that act to constrict American sovereignty and flexibility. It is difficult to determine when the last time the UN did anything useful and so unique that regional national partnerships couldn’t accomplish the same thing. Right now it seems as though its core functions are consuming cash and criticizing successful nations.

The UN is in a position where it has virtually zero friends left in the GOP and it never had any friends in the incoming Trump administration. If Lindsey Graham is exercised enough to talk about withholding funding to the UN, the issue is a serious one. Who knows, this may turn out to be the only good thing Obama ever did for this country.



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