From Faux News:
was a Christmas Eve appropriation of $138,700 to fund a database of companies doing business in the West Bank. The measure puts UN prestige behind the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, say critics.
“The types of data they are talking about acquiring would be to form the basis for future sanctions against companies that did business on the West Bank,” Fox News contributor and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton told FoxNews.com. “That’s the only purpose of it that I can see.”
The request for funding, first adopted last April, would “investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” which extends to East Jerusalem, and would “produce a database of all business enterprises” working in territories disputed between Israel and the Palestinians.
Bolton said the database is an “effort to lay the groundwork” for the UN Security Council to follow up on its anti-settlement declaration by imposing costly economic sanctions.
Although the Obama administration was widely criticized for not using its Security Council veto power to stop the anti-settlement resolution, it did oppose the General Assembly’s move to create the database.
“In close consultation and cooperation with Israel, we joined the Israelis recently in opposing funding for work related to the database, but this effort, unfortunately, was not successful,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told FoxNews.com in an emailed statement. “We will continue to strongly oppose, in close coordination with Israel, any additional measures related to this one-sided effort if they arise moving forward.”
The stunning decision by the U.S. to abstain and therefore allow passage of the anti-settlement resolution exposed a deep rift between Israel and the Obama administration. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the White House of helping to craft and push the resolution, which initially was put forward by Egypt, and then pursued by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela.
Yet Netanyahu has taken them all on. With a lack of courtesy he would rightly castigate if the tables were turned, he summoned the ambassadors of the 12 yes-voting countries with which Israel has diplomatic relations for a dressing-down on Christmas Day. Imagine the outrage were a host country to call in the Israeli envoy on, say, Rosh Hashanah.
He ordered his ministers to minimize their dealings with these 12 countries. He canceled, or chose not to schedule, a meeting — depending on whose account you believe — with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos next month. Theresa May, who last week enthused about “remarkable” Israel at a Conservative Friends of Israel lunch, in a speech overflowing with admiration and empathy for the Jewish state. Likewise, he chose not to arrange a meeting with Xi Jinping, the president of China, a country with which Netanyahu has striven for years to bolster relations. He summoned home his ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand. He cancelled a visit to Israel this week by the prime minister of Ukraine, who just so happens to be Jewish.
“They are spitting at us,” he was reported on Sunday to have been telling colleagues. “We will respond with power.” But we are one, small Israel, and it is our interest to widen support for our cause among the nations, to engage, to dialogue, to explain. We rightly condemn boycotts. Now Netanyahu is instituting them.
For all his fury at the perfidy of the international community, his sense of grievance and injustice, the question he must be asked is whether this is going to work. The Obama administration still has more than three weeks left in office. Kerry has said he will soon make a speech setting out his Middle East vision. On January 15, France is convening a summit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Netanyahu now reportedly fears that the scheming US administration, in coordination with the other Middle East Quartet members — Russia, the EU and the reviled UN — will utilize that gathering to draw up a second UN Security Council resolution to enshrine the parameters of a Palestinian state.
To again quote Kerry at the Saban Forum, “we have always stood against any imposition of a, quote, ‘final status solution.’” But in the current frenetic atmosphere, Netanyahu — rightly or wrongly — sees danger. Casting around for leverage, on Saturday night he warned that Israel’s friends in Congress would draw up legislation to punish states and organizations, such as the UN, that seek to harm Israel. “We won’t let anybody hurt the State of Israel,” he vowed.
But the inconvenient truth is that while 14 nations supported Resolution 2334, and the US chose not to oppose it, those 14 are not all enemies of Israel, far from it, and the United States certainly isn’t. The Czech Republic and Panama might, just might, have voted no, or abstained, but basically the entire world rejects the legality of the settlement enterprise. And much of that world, as Netanyahu has in the recent past enthusiastically highlighted, either broadly supports Israel or is moving in that direction.
On Saturday night, Netanyahu claimed that Resolution 2334 was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” the act of diplomatic warfare that would prompt a “fundamental change” in the way the UN, and by extension, the international community treats Israel.