Alan Dershowitz: “The Current Conflict over Jerusalem Is All Obama’s Fault”

Dec 19, 2017 by

If anyone is to blame for the recent kerfuffle over the status of Jerusalem it is not President Donald Trump, but, rather, President Barack Obama, according to a high-profile Democrat and avowed supporter of  Hillary Clinton.

According to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, Mr. Obama was ultimately responsible for both Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his subsequent order to veto the UN Security Council resolution designed to undo that recognition. According to Mr. Dershowitz, both actions by Mr. Trump were proper and necessary.

The resolution proposed by the UN Security Council that Mr. Trump vetoed “fails to recognize that it was the December 2016 Security Council Resolution—the one engineered by lame duck President Barack Obama—that changed the status of Jerusalem and complicated the efforts to achieve a compromise peace,” said Mr. Dershowitz.

Mr. Dershowitz made his remarks in a widely circulated op-ed entitled “The Conflict over Jerusalem Is All Obama’s Fault.”

An Act of Revenge

He accused Mr. Obama of having “engineered the notorious December 2016 Security Council Resolution” that declared all of the sites in the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall (Kotel), “to be illegally occupied by Israel. This declaration changed the status quo and made a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians much more difficult, he said.

Mr. Dershowitz argued that in finagling the 2016 UN Security Council Resolution, Mr. Obama was acting in “lame-duck revenge against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he hated.”

“His motive was personal, not patriotic,” said Mr. Dershowitz.

Mr. Dershowitz pointed out that, before the “benighted” resolution that Mr. Obama, in his last days as President, allowed to pass in the UN Security Council, important sites in Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, were widely recognized as part of Israel—“or, at worst, as disputed territory.”

“Everyone knew that any peace agreement would inevitably recognize that these historically Jewish areas were an indigenous part of Israel. They were certainly not illegally occupied by Israel, any more than Bethlehem was illegally occupied by the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

Jordanian Illegal Occupation

In 1948, when the UN divided the British Mandate into two states for two people—a decision accepted by Israel and rejected by all the Arab nations and the Palestinian Arabs—Jerusalem and Bethlehem were deemed part of an international zone. That designation was made moot by Jordan which, as part of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, attacked the newly declared Jewish state and illegally occupied the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, prohibiting any Jewish access to these holy areas as well as to the university and the hospital.

“Jordan also illegally occupied Bethlehem,” Mr. Dershowitz noted.

In 1967, in an action Mr. Dershowitz said was “illegal,” Jordan again attacked Israel and shelled civilian areas of Jerusalem. Israel responded and, as a result, liberated the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, “thereby opening these sites to everyone.”

Obama’s Gift to the PA

That was the status quo that Mr. Obama’s December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution endeavored to disrupt.

“This unwarranted change — long opposed by United States administrations — made a negotiated peace more difficult, because it handed the Jewish holy places over to the Palestinians without getting any concessions in return, thus requiring that Israel ‘buy’ them back in any negotiation,” said Mr. Dershowitz. “By declaring the disputed territory illegally occupied by Israel, the Security Council enabled the PA to hold sites hostage during any negotiation.”

He recalled that the former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority once told him, “If we have the Wall, we will demand much to return it to Israel, because we know Israel will give much to get it.”

Restoring Balance

According to Mr. Dershowitz, Mr. Obama’s 2016 UN Security Council Resolution “changed the status quo more than the declaration by President Trump,” recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The Trump declaration restored some balance that was taken away by the Obama-inspired Security Council Resolution of a year ago,” said Mr. Dershowitz, who made clear that, before the 2016 UN Resolution, he personally would not have supported a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem by an American President outside the context of a peace process.

But, he said, once Mr. Obama allowed the status quo to change, “I strongly supported President Trump’s decision to restore balance.”

Standing Alone with Israel

He recognized that, by vetoing a resolution that had the support of every other Security Council member, President Trump set himself up for severe criticism. But, in that regard, said Mr. Dershowitz, the current President is in the same position as many other American chiefs of state. Over the years, the United States has often stood alone with Israel in both the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.

“And the United States and Israel have been right. The bias of the international community against the nation state of the Jewish people has been long-standing and evident, especially at the United Nations,” he said.

He recalled that, years ago, then Israeli representative to the UN Abba Eban quipped that if Algeria presented a resolution that the earth was flat and Israel had flattened it, the vote would be 128 in favor, three opposed, and 62 abstentions.

“Recall the infamous UN General Assembly Resolution declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. It received overwhelming support from the tyrannical nations of the world, which constitute a permanent majority of the United Nations, and was rescinded only after the United States issued threats if it were to remain on the books,” said Mr. Dershowitz.

“Personal Pique over American Policy”

But Mr. Dershowitz’s strongest criticism was reserved for Mr. Obama who, he said, had only one rationale for permitting the 2016 UN Resolution and its change of the status quo to the disadvantage of Israel.

“Congress did not want the change. The American people did not support the change. Many in the Obama administration opposed it. Even some members of the Security Council who voted for the resolution did not want the change,” he said, describing Mr. Obama’s decision to allow the Resolution to pass “bad for America, for peace, and for America’s ally, Israel.”

“He never would have done it except as a lame duck with no political accountability and no checks and balances,” said Mr. Dershowitz.

And that action by Mr. Obama prompted the entire current “brouhaha about Jerusalem—including the staged tactical violence by Palestinians,” he said.

All of it, he said, “is entirely the fault of a single vengeful individual who put personal pique over American policy: Barack Obama.”


Related Posts


Share This