US gives Israel the UN veto despite not accepting the previous US offer
Feb 23, 2011

US gives Israel the UN veto despite not accepting the previous US offer

A couple months ago before the Israel/Palestine peace talks all but broke down, the US was attempting to make a deal that gave large amount of incentives to Israel in exchange for a 3 month temporary extension of the settlement freeze. Ultimately, this package was rejected as I wrote about here.

What is interesting is that with the US's veto of the UN security council resolution against Israeli settlement expansion, one of the key carrots in the package has been given regardless. Along with the military aid, continued diplomatic assistance protecting Israel and an official sanctioning of the settlement activity beyond the 3 months were key aspects. With the veto, this diplomatic assistance has been given despite Israel rejecting the offer. Further, while the US remains consistent on its officially supported policy of being in opposition to the settlements, it remains clear that negative consequences (such as not vetoing) are not going to occur which is pragmatically equivalent to officially condoning it.

 Indeed, it was precisely the rejecting of the offer that gave Obama the potential political leeway to not veto the UN position given that this resolution agrees with the Obama administration's official view and that it can be seen as a punitive measure for the decline of the offer. That the Obama administration elected to veto it regardless demonstrates perhaps why the offer was rejected. Israel can correctly assume that the claims in the offer about continued diplomatic assistance are entirely moot because they will - and did - occur anyways.

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