Buried deep within the Friday edition of the Chicago Tribune was a short item reporting the US veto of the Security Council resolution condemning the continued usurpation of Palestinian land by illegal Israeli settlements, activities which the Obama administration has itself objected to.
The US cave-in to powerful Israeli lobbies and pro-Israeli sentiment in Congress flies in the face not only of the position of the entire Security Council, but the 130 nations co-sponsoring the resolution. To make matters worse, the veto came in the midst of the most widespread demonstrations for democracy and civil rights in Middle Eastern history, a moment when protestors have appealed to and understandably expected support from the United States. Anti-US demonstrations have now been added to anti-government protests.
The small window of opportunity for a desperately needed and potentially productive realignment of Arab states whose citizens long for rights and freedoms taken for granted by US citizens may well have been slammed shut on Barack Obama’s diplomatic fingers. Hopefully, he will be able to wiggle free enough to pluck an Easter bunny out of his hat. But that it would emerge in the form of constructive peace talks and an end to the illegal settlements is, I fear, less likely than ever.
Politics, the old canard has it, makes strange bedfellows. Aaaaand… they wouldn’t be canards if there wasn’t more than a grain of truth in them.