I find this to be somewhat ironic as I understand that Britain voted in favor of the resolution - correct me if I am wrong. I think it’s (1) an outreach gesture to the incoming Trump administration and (2) a perfectly legitimate questioning of the right of the UN Security Council to negotiate, actually set I should say the terms in advance, on the Palestinians’ behalf, as to what is legal, not legal, what the terms are for peace with Israel. Nevermind Hamas, etc. You either believe in and respect the sovereignty of nations or you don’t. Theresa May of all people should know a thing or two about that.
As to the US/Kerry/Obama, I love the part about how Jews in the settlements can’t be a part of a Palestinian state, but you can’t have a “Jewish” democratic state - contradiction in terms. Good God, what an idiot Kerry is. Susan Rice of the Obama administration blocked this same resolution in 2011. Nothing new here but increasing discombobulation, to the point of really undermining US credibility. Trust me, when Europe is stepping up for Israel, something is rotten in Washington D.C. :o
The UK is not ‘Europe’, the former is a sovereign nation composed of several states, the latter is a group of many countries who take varying attitudes towards Israel. The UK generally supports Israel, but not to the same degree as the US has, my own home country is rather more mixed in it’s views of Israel. Other European nations have their own individual takes which change with time on the situation there. For many it is a minor question at best.
Agree on ‘UK not being Europe’, though I don’t think it does any harm as an aside to remind people that it is, in fact, part of Europe, and will remain so, with or without the EU… From my perspective, the British, and by that I mean the English, the Scottish, the Welsh and the ‘Northern Irelanders’ (for lack of a better phrase) come across as pretty darn ‘European’ - especially when the subject of Israel comes up. I feel there is a marked tendency to view Israel primarily as an occupying force that commits aggression against Palestinians and occupies Palestinian territory. Usually there is some lip service paid to the right of Israel to exist, but not always - depends on who you talk to. Theresa May will say something different from Jeremy Corbyn or Nicola Sturgeon, etc. etc. I would sadly call out the French as among the top of what I would call ‘anti-Israel.’ (I shudder to think what will come out of the conference in Paris in a few weeks.)
I guess I do consider Britain (or England) to be on the milder (mildest?) side of the anti-Israeli sentiment across European nations. As I recall, Tony Blair used to do this too as May has done - step up, albeit extremely reluctantly for Israel, but only when the international or continental pummeling was getting out of hand and the US was faltering for whatever reason to stand guard. I would guess that the Irish fall between the British and French, hopefully closer to the British. I do feel like the US has this kind of strange mandate to guard Israel (and I accept it) - ever since WWII - and I admit to viewing Europe’s often seeming indifference and/or hostility to Israel with a little bitter irony, considering how we all got here…but the past is the past.
In any event, I don’t think this UN move by the Obama administration has anything to do with the problem of the Jewish settlements or seeking peace or a two state solution. These issues have been around for years. This is sour grapes aimed at Netanyahu. Settling a personal score, trying to anyway. And he (Obama) is causing considerable international embarrassment and scandal along the way, for his own country along with Israel. From what I can see, May’s comments, along with Putin’s on the other brouhaha Obama has started up with Russia, indicate that the international community can see through this rather pathetic nonsense as well as I can. It is a sad day for US diplomacy.
Calling Israel’s administration the most right-wing in history in your closing public address regarding Israel, particularly when you have had ample opportunity to say such things over the preceding years, makes little sense unless you are either using your departure to ‘settle scores’, poison the well and create difficulties for the incoming president.
That, along with the Russian sanctions fiasco, just seem to display an outgoing adminstration that is so intent on damaging the incoming adminstration thst it is prepared to make closing ‘diplomatic’ moves that can put us all at risk.
Like him or not, the rest of the world’s leaders will have to engage positively with President Trump. International diplomacy is necessary to have some sort of stability in the world and it is difficult enough as it is without an outgoing US administration seemingly throwing political handgrenades over its shoulder as it walks out of the room for good.
Can you blame current world leaders for not being supportive of the actions of the Obama administration as it leaves office?
I must say I am not impressed with the way Obama is leaving office, it seems disastrously managed thus far. To reply to another point above briefly Israel has not been er, popular in Ireland for some years, a few years ago it was most unpopular indeed after it emerged that Israeli secret services were misusing Irish passports. There was talk of expelling the Israelis from their embassy and their were protests outside it, people generally see Israel as something of a bully in many places in Ireland. Obviously not every single Irish person holds or shares that opinion but it is a quite common outlook there.
My wife’s nation (amusingly Russian given Obama’s carryings on and believe me they have been causing some amused eye rolling by her) has a more negative yet outlook at times with regards to Israel. Many Russians view the Palestinians as legitimately fighting for freedom and deplore only the methods they use and not the cause. There is a history of on and off tension with Russia and Israel as regards their relations with each other of course and a history behind that history also.