Top Obama administration officials refused Wednesday to rule out a reduction in long-time U.S. support for Israel, including refusing to fend off resolutions at the United Nations hostile toward Israel, according to Politico.
The possible – I’d say all-but-certain – change in stance comes in the wake of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reelection and his vow that he would not allow a Palestinian state during his tenure, a rejection of the two-state solution that has been the basis of Obama’s aggressive effort to forge a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
From the Politico piece:
“The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics,” said a senior administration official, adding that recent Israeli government actions were in keeping with Netanyahu’s rhetoric.
While saying it was “premature” to discuss Washington’s policy response, the official wouldn’t rule out a modified American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has long fended off resolutions criticizing Israeli settlement activity and demanding its withdrawal from Palestinian territories.
“We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward,” the official said . . .
Obama has other diplomatic options. He could expend less political capital to oppose growing momentum within the European Union to impose sanctions on Israel for its settlement activity.
More provocative to Israel would be any softening of Obama’s opposition to Palestinian efforts to join the International Criminal Court, which the Palestinian Authority will formally join on April 1.
Membership in the ICC could result in the Palestinians bringing war crimes charges against Israel.
This is consistent with my analysis Wednesday that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was menacing Israel with his comments that the administration would have to “reevaluate” its positions.