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A "costly" veto

The US veto at the UN on Friday - mind you, the only country to do so - of the resolution to condemn Israeli settlements, was stupid, and short-sighted, in the extreme. The Israelis and the Israel Lobby in the US will be pleased, but as Gideon Levy rightly points out in his latest op-ed piece "With settlement resolution veto, Obama has joined Likud" in Haaretz, the undoubted losers will be the US and Israel.

"The first veto cast by the United States during Obama's term, a veto he promised in vain not to use as his predecessors did, was a veto against the chance and promise of change, a veto against hope. This is a veto that is not friendly to Israel; it supports the settlers and the Israeli right, and them alone.

The excuses of the American ambassador to the UN won't help, and neither will the words of thanks from the Prime Minister's Office: This is a step that is nothing less than hostile to Israel. America, which Israel depends on more than ever, said yes to settlements. That is the one and only meaning of its decision, and in so doing, it supported the enterprise most damaging to Israel.

Moreover, it did so at a time when winds of change are blowing in the Middle East. A promise of change was heard from America, but instead, it continued with its automatic responses and its blind support of Israel's settlement building. This is not an America that will be able to change its standing among the peoples of the region. And Israel, an international pariah, once again found itself supported only by America.

This should have disturbed every Israeli. Is that what we are? Alone and condemned? And all for the continuation of that worthless enterprise? Is it really worth the price? To hell with the UN and the whole world is against us?"

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