Amir Oren, a liberal Israeli commentator, argued that the UN resolution could save the government from itself by bringing closer an end to settlement construction. “Santa Obama delivered a wonderful Christmas present to Israel when the United States opted not to veto Friday’s United Nations security council vote condemning settlement policy,” he wrote in Haaretz. “The passage of the resolution won’t result in the immediate dismantling of any West Bank settlements, but the world is beginning to come to the rescue and try to save Israel from itself.”The Guardian, White House races to save Middle East peace process before Trump takes office. And Netanyahu is apparently realizing the potential weakness of his position:
In contrast to the recent harsh statements, Netanyahu has also reportedly warned ministers to avoid making calls for annexation of the occupied territories for fear of promoting further moves aganist [sic] Israel. The latest planned reported moves also come amid evidence of a mounting backlash against Netanyahu’s handling of the situation. On Monday Yesh Atid, the party of one of Netanyahu’s biggest rivals on the right, Yair Lapid, urged the Knesset to summon Netanyahu to explain the “dangerous deterioration in Israel’s foreign relations” following the vote. Israeli columnists also continued to damn Netanyahu’s handling of the fallout with Ben Caspit, of the Maariv, describing his “campaign of chastisement” as the “most unwarranted and looniest in the world of diplomacy in modern history”.The Guardian, Netanyahu snubs May over UN settlements vote, Israeli media says. Conclusion: The Court’s Wisdom May Offer Hope for a Better Future than 2016 The news articles above give evidence that Zivotofsky may leave a long legacy instead of disappearing into the night. This present essay makes no predictions, though. Maybe Netanyahu, who, in the spirit of George Michael (RIP), has been essentially been saying that Obama “should’ve known better than to cheat a friend” by abstaining on the U.N. vote, will eventually get his way; and the world will grudgingly accept a per se or de facto one-state solution, that one state being Israel. Then again, as Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher (RIP), daughter of Debbie Reynolds (RIP)) might say, (the) force of history is likely with the world as a whole, not with isolated figures like Trump and Netanyahu. 2016 has been a miserable year for many people, and we can only hope that sanity and decency prevail, in the Middle East and elsewhere. John Kerry, who defeated petitioner Zivotofsky, has been trying to promote sanity and decency—including “call[ing] for Jerusalem to be the recognized capital of both states”—, at least from his perspective. And if the Court’s Zivotofsky decision, with its appreciation of nuance, history, and multilateralism, points a way to a happy result, then the world may well be happy if that decision and its spirit stand.
(Cross-posted, with edits, at Casetext)