Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Maybe the US Veto of a Palestinian State Would be a Good Thing…

My last name is of Jewish origin and I am of Lebanese descent on my father’s side.  I grew up with both a Star of David and a Christian cross hanging over the fireplace mantle in our house.  And although we never made it to the alter, my first fiancĂ©e was Jewish.  As I naively look backwards in time through my rose colored glasses, I like to think that my life reflects the state of affairs among many Jews and Arabs before WWII. We come from the same genetic stock and have been intermingling for thousands of years.

To diminish and demonize the other side, is to diminish and demonize ourselves.  

What I fervently desire, as a person of Semitic origin, is for the peaceful coexistence between the State of Israel and a future Palestinian state.  And until both sides can come to the negotiating table as equals in that regard, I believe that there never will be peace among people who share the same blood.

So why would I support a US veto of a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council?  For this simple reason:  It diminishes the US influence in the ME significantly.  As I look back over the last 65 years of US decision making in the region, I can’t think of a single instance where our foreign policy has had a beneficial impact in the region.  We’ve basically made a hash of things with just about every move, from supporting brutal dictators, to helping overthrow democratically elected governments, to invading countries for no good purpose.

We’ve been fucking up for decades and I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.  I believe it’s time we let the Europeans take the lead in negotiations, since they have a much more nuanced view on how to broker peace in this dispute.  Mostly for domestic political reasons, the United States can’t…and hasn’t been able to for some time.

What is the net result of a loss of US credibility in the Middle East?  How would that affect everyone’s behavior in the region?  Would Israel’s highly right wing government make different choices if they knew that the US could not help repair the damaged relationship with their former Arab and Turkish allies?

Per capita and by landmass, Israel is one of the most militarized countries on the planet.  It is estimated that they have over 200 thermonuclear warheads in their current stockpile.  How would the US intercede militarily on Israel’s behalf in a dispute with one or several of their neighbors, (especially in a fashion that the IDF could not do for themselves), which wouldn’t just make any situation even worse?

What are the long term consequences to making the most cynical of moves and vetoing the recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council?  What have we ever achieved with our influence in the region?

Removing the US from that playing field might be the best possible move for improving the chances for peace.


  1. on whatever the US chooses to do. i think there are benefits to a veto and potential problems as well.

    however i highly disagree that europe should take the lead in negotiations for a couple of reasons. first its important to remember the history of european jewry over the past couple of centuries, in no way would handing this off to a region with so much bad history be considered helpful. second – its not like europe hasn’t been mucking up the ME either over the past decades – nay centuries. in fact – its pretty evident that they screwed things up so badly in so much as they set the foundations of the current problems there.

    lastly – and i think this is an important point… what do you think israel’s position on the US removing itself would be? what many people fail to recognize from either side of the debate, is that there are two parties here, both need to buy in, and both have geopolitical realities to contend with.

    the only way is via the quartet.

  2. jsfox

    that I read that sums up my feeling about US Israel relations. I can not longer remember who said it other than the fact that he was Israeli of high standing.

    I paraphrase

    As long as the US acts as Israel’s attorney it cannot be an honest broker of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Obama is stuck between a boulder and a very very hard place on this one. Some of his party go ape shit every time he even hints at being harder on Israel. And you get supposed Democrats like Ed Koch telling Democratic Jewish voters to vote Republican in the NY special to fill Weiner’s seat. Not because he is the best guy, but to send a message to Obama to embrace Israel no matter what it does.

    So is the veto a good or bad thing? Personally I think it is bad thing because it continues to send the message to Israel we don’t care if you drive drunk.  

  3. HappyinVT

    Turkey and Egypt with respect to Israel?  I know this goes a bit off-topic but I am curious as to how the latest contretemps between Turkey and Israel affect the future of the ME.  Additionally, it seems Egypt is still trying to find the way in the post-Mubarak era.

  4. …and I love the way you approached it with a spin which isn’t provocative, nor expected.

    But can I confess: when I come to this issue I have absolutely no clue.

    Is that OK? I pretend I know stuff, that I have answers and insight and lots of knowledge. But on this…

    I. Have. No. Clue.

    I hope my fellow Moozog will forgive me.  

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