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Propaganda about Obama's love for Palestinians
<img attachment="apartheid-wall.jpg" align="left">I figure that's a better title than "Obama administration takes a significant step toward ending the occupation". I heard from a few sources that the U.S. Congress finally voted against funding Israel. That is patently untrue. What actually sparked this rumor is that---for the first time ever---the U.S. allowed a vote in the U.N. Security Council to proceed against Israel. Congress had nothing to do with it. The budget for Israel stands. The U.S. didn't even vote against Israel. Instead, Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power abstained from voting. Is resolution 2334 significant? Not really. It's a non-binding resolution<fn>, which means that Israel will add it to the pile of other non-binding resolutions that they're already got stacked next to the toilet.<fn> It's an admonition, a recrimination. And this is the first time that the U.S. didn't veto it. That's the news. You might be excused for being underwhelmed. However, in this case, the bar has been set so low that this does actually count as news. It's just that it won't lead to a single bit of change in Israel. The supposed background of the story is that the U.S. has been asking Israel to slow down its settlement-expansion. Netanyahu responded by increasing it. This has happened several times over the last decades, with few to no repercussions. Now, finally, it has cost Israel something: a non-binding resolution has been filed in the official records of the U.N. I wouldn't expect the white helmets to show up anytime soon. This tepid response is the most anger that the Obama administration can muster, even at the very end, when it doesn't matter anymore. What does matter to Obama is legacy. He wants to be remembered as having fought for a resolution in the Middle East, so he makes this tepid move, significant only to Washington insiders. Predictably, all of the usual suspects got their panties in a bunch anyway. Because a bully demands 100% respect. <i>Any</i> deviation for slavish devotion is rewarded with a completely disproportionate response---to discourage future transgressions against its power. The article <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/defense/311712-obama-faces-widespread-backlash-after-abstaining-from-un-israel-vote" source="The Hill" author="Rebecca Kheel"> Obama faces widespread backlash after abstaining from UN Israel vote</a> cites all of the usual suspects, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Tom Cotton, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and, of course, Charles Schumer. None of them said anything that will make you any wiser for having read it. Isreal's response was reasonable, thoughtful and measured, also as expected, <bq>In response to the resolution, the government of Israel retaliated with a series of diplomatic actions against members of the Security Council, including recalling its ambassadors, summoning member countries' ambassadors, cancellations of visits, and cancellation of aid.</bq> <hr> <ft>See <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_2334" source="Wikipedia">United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334</a> for more information.</ft> <ft>Just to be clear: they're not for reading.</ft>