Apr 8 2011
UN Intervention Into Libya an Ominous Precedent For Israel [Excerpts]
There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama Administration has just undertaken in its war with Muammar Gaddafi. How it will all end is just one of them.
Particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Gaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.
Here's how such a seemingly impossible scenario might eventuate: It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. Three top female officials in the Obama administration reprise roles they played in the Council's recent action on Libya: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States support (or at least not veto) the Palestinians' gambit. She is supported by the senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, Samantha Power, who in the past argued for landing a "mammoth force" of American troops to protect the Palestinians from Israel. Ditto Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as First Lady.
This resolution enjoys the support of the other four veto-wielding Security Council members - Russia, China, Britain and France - as well as the all of the other non-permanent members except India, which joins the United States in abstaining. As a result, it is adopted with overwhelming support from what is known as the "international community."
Accordingly, hard as it may be to believe given the United States' longstanding role as Israel's principal ally and protector, Mr. Obama acts, in accordance with the Gaddafi Precedent. He warns Israel that it must immediately take steps to dismantle its unwanted presence inside the internationally recognized State of Palestine, lest it face the sort of U.S.-enabled "coalition" military measures now underway in Libya. In this case, they would be aimed at neutralizing IDF forces on the West Bank - and beyond, if necessary - in order to fulfill the "will of the international community."
Of course, such steps would not result in the ostensibly desired end-game, namely "two states living side by side in peace and security." If the current attack on Libya entails the distinct possibility of unintended (or at least unforeseen) consequences, application of the Gaddafi Precedent to Israel seems certain to produce a very different outcome than the two-state "solution": Under present and foreseeable circumstances, it will unleash a new regional war, with possible worldwide repercussions.