...the Administration then issued an extraordinary “explanation of vote,” read by UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Though we had to veto, she explained, “we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace…we agree with our fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity...
This is amazing language for diplomat: “folly,” “illegitimacy,” “devastates,” “corroded,” and so on. It’s hard to recall such a vehement statement against Israel, nor one that contains so many conclusions that are, to say the least, highly debatable. Has construction in and around Jerusalem or in Ma’ale Adumim, for example, “undermined Israel’s security?” Given that the Israelis and Palestinians concluded the Oslo Accords and the numerous other agreements while construction activity was far greater than it is today, what is the basis for saying that it “devastates trust?”
...emotive language such as Amb. Rice employed serves no purpose. Arab newspapers will headline the veto—assuming of course that they have space in their pages tomorrow after covering the revolts in Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Bahrain, and Egypt—and are very unlikely to cover her speech. Only Israelis and supporters of Israel in the United States will study her language, and remember it.
This wouldn't be a method of the famous Obama Administration "engagement" policy?