Evidence of Obama’s State Department deception in New Yorker magazine’s article about settlements
by Ezequiel Doiny
On December 23, 2016 President Obama did not veto UNSC 2334. On May 14,2017 Newsmax reported “President Barack Obama told “60 Minutes” that he made the call for the U.S. to abstain from a vote on a U.N. Security council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, allowing the resolution to pass…The increase of those settlements, Obama told “60 Minutes,” has “gotten so substantial” that it is inhibiting the possibility for an “effective, contiguous Palestinian state.”
On July 9,2018 Adam Entous wrote in the New Yorker magazine that Obama was shocked when he saw Israeli settlement maps and that is why he reversed US policy to protect Israel in the UNSC and did not veto UNSC 2334 “One afternoon in the spring of 2015, a senior State Department official named Frank Lowenstein paged through a government briefing book and noticed a map that he had never seen before. Lowenstein was the Obama Administration’s special envoy on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a position that exposed him to hundreds of maps of the West Bank…
Typically, those maps made Jewish settlements and outposts look tiny compared to the areas where the Palestinians lived. The new map in the briefing book was different. It showed large swaths of territory that were off limits to Palestinian development and filled in space between the settlements and the outposts. At that moment, Lowenstein told me, he saw “the forest for the trees”—not only were Palestinian population centers cut off from one another but there was virtually no way to squeeze a viable Palestinian state into the areas that remained. Lowenstein’s team did the math. When the settlement zones, the illegal outposts, and the other areas off limits to Palestinian development were consolidated, they covered almost sixty per cent of the West Bank.
…Obama’s Presidency was winding down, but Lowenstein figured that he could use the time left to raise awareness about what the Israelis were doing. “One day, everyone’s going to wake up and go, ‘Wait a minute, we’ve got to stop this to at least have the possibility of a two-state solution,’ ” Lowenstein said.
…Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s longest-serving advisers, said the President was shocked to see how “systematic” the Israelis had been at cutting off Palestinian population centers from one another.
…Alarmed by Israeli actions depicted in the maps, Obama decided to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the settlements”
Blogger Elder of Zion explained Obama’s State Department deception “…according to a New Yorker article, President Obama was “shocked” by maps shown to him by the State Department that were essentially identical to the Oslo maps of 1995 and interpreted them as if Israel was taking more and more land.
The State Department employee credited with what can now be seen to be a deception was Frank Lowenstein, and Times of Israel interviewed him. What he says about that map proves that he knew he was being deceptive.
“Lowenstein told The Times of Israel that he’d long been aware of the reality in the West Bank, but had been unable to fully explain it to his superiors until the sixth year of Obama’s presidency when he came across a series of maps that showed how 60 percent of the land beyond the Green Line had become off-limits to Palestinian development.
“We knew this all along. I just couldn’t figure out how to explain it to people until I saw those maps,” he recalled, saying that they were essential in illustrating to then-secretary of state John Kerry and president Obama the reality of Israeli entrenchment in the West Bank.
Lowenstein acknowledged that the 60% he had highlighted was equivalent to Area C, which was placed under full Israeli control under the Oslo Accords. However, he pointed out that the goal of the agreement had been to gradually transfer parts of Area C to the Palestinian Authority.
“That’s how this narrative emerged in my head that this was Oslo reversed. Instead of transitioning power to the Palestinians they were effectively transitioning power over to the settlers,” Lowenstein said.”
The goal of the agreement was to create a Palestinian entity, which Israel agreed to do in 2000 and 2001. Much of it would have been from Area C. But as far as I know there was no agreement to slowly transfer Area C to Palestinian hands without a peace agreement.
Beyond that, there are some small matters here and there that Lowenstein is pretending didn’t happen.
Like the Palestinians rejecting both peace offers.As well as a 2008 peace plan and ignoring a 2014 peace framework put forth by Obama without consulting Israel.
Like an intifada that killed thousands. Like incitement directly from the Palestinian Authority.
Yet somehow Lowenstein is upset at Israel for not unilaterally giving land to a Palestinian government that consistently rejected peace and chose to encourage citizens to blow themselves up in the first decade of this century, and to stab and run over Jews in the second decade.
What Lowenstein is saying is that no matter what, Israel must be blamed, and he found a convenient way to do that by lying about history and maps to the President…”
1. The article says that “When the settlement zones, the illegal outposts, and the other areas off limits to Palestinian development were consolidated, they covered almost sixty per cent of the West Bank”. This statement is deceiving because it does not specify that settlements and “illegal” outposts used only 1.7% of the land and the rest was land partially or completely under Israeli control part of Areas B and C as accepted by the Palestinians in the Oslo Accords which outcome would be decided under final status negotiations.
2. The article makes it sound Israel was secretly undermining the two state solution “Obama’s Presidency was winding down, but Lowenstein figured that he could use the time left to raise awareness about what the Israelis were doing… ‘Wait a minute, we’ve got to stop this to at least have the possibility of a two-state solution,’ (Israel was not violating the Oslo Accords or secretly undermining the two state solution, the settlements occupy today 1.7% of the territories, the same area they occupied when the Oslo Accords were signed. If settlements occupying 1.7% of the land were not an obstacle when Oslo was signed why those same settlements occupying the same amount of land all of a sudden became an obstacle now?)
3. The article also claims that “Alarmed by Israeli actions depicted in the maps, Obama decided to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the settlements” but the maps do not depict any “Israeli actions” they just represent the division of the West Bank into Areas A,B,C as agreed upon in the Oslo Accords. Also this statement falsely states that UNSC 2334 just condemns Israeli settlements when in reality it does much more than that it rules that all of Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall are Palestinian, in violation of the Oslo Accords that ruled that this should be determined only through final status direct negotiations.
The US witnessed and backed the Oslo Accords but instead of defending the Oslo accords, Obama helped Abbas violate Oslo. Abbas would not have been able to violate Oslo without Obama’s help in the UNSC. The Obama administration lied about “massive settlement construction” to create an excuse to bury the Oslo agreements and abandon Israel in the UNSC. The settlements occupy only 1.7% of the West Bank but Obama lied that “…the increase of those settlements has gotten so substantial that it is inhibiting the possibility for an effective, contiguous Palestinian state”. By inventing the myth of “massive settlement construction”, Obama created a false sense of urgency to justify the UNSC resolution.
By enabling the anti-Israel UNSC resolution Obama ruled that the Jewish Quarter, Temple Mount and the Western Wall are “occupied Palestinian territory”, the Wiesenthal Center declared UNSC 2334 the worst anti-Semitic incident in 2016.
In his autobiography “My Life” Bill Clinton describes a conversation he had with Arafat when he was hosting a Palestinian-Israeli summit in Camp David in 2000: “…When Arafat came to see me, he asked a lot of questions about my proposal. He wanted Israel to have the Wailing Wall, because of its religious significance, but asserted that the remaining fifty feet of the Western Wall should go to the Palestinians. I told him he was wrong, that Israel should have the entire wall to protect itself from someone using one entrance of the tunnel that ran beneath the wall from damaging the remains of the temples beneath the Haram. The Old City has four quarters: Jewish, Muslim Christian, and Armenian. It was assumed that Palestine would get the Muslim and Christian quarters, with Israel getting the other two. Arafat argued that he should have a few blocks of the Armenian quarter because of the Christian churches there. I couldn’t believe he was talking to me about this….I said these parameters were nonnegotiable and were the best I could do…Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak accepted it was an error of historic proportions…”
Source: Clinton, Bill. “My Life.” Vintage (2005). pp. 936-946.
If Obama believed the Two State Solution was in danger and, as he claims, imposing a solution in the UNSC was necessary to protect the two state solution couldn’t he had been more balanced? Why give everything to the Arabs and nothing to the Jews? Why not, for example, adopt the more balanced Bill Clinton’s parameters? Why, for example, give all four quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City to the Arabs and not two quarters to the Arabs and two quarters to the Jews as Clinton had proposed in Camp David in 2000?
Even if, as the New Yorker claims, Obama was “shocked” by Lowestein “new findings” in the maps would that justify giving EVERYTHING (including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) to the Arabs and nothing to the Jews? Why didn’t he adopt a more BALANCED position and adopt Bill Clinton’s parameters which gave the Western Wall to the Jews?
Obama tried to portrait UNSC 2334 as being about settlements but it is actually much more than that. If Obama just wanted to stop settlement growth,as he claims, why did he authorize a resolution that rules that both Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall are “occupied Palestinian territory”? (While Clinton’s parameters were that it is nonnegotiable that the Temple Mount would be in Palestine while the Western Wall would remain in Israel)
Itzak Rabin (Oslo Accords) and Bill Clinton did not consider settlements to be illegal and did not require that Israel return all the land beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. Rabin said “We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.” Clinton said “I recommended 94 to 96 percent of the West Bank for the Palestinians…an understanding that the land kept by Israel would include 80 percent of the settlers in blocs…”
Obama’s claim that UNSC 2334 was necessary because of settlement growth is false given that the total land occupied by settlements is 1.7% of the West Bank, about the same it was when the Oslo agreements were signed.
Obama’s UNSC 2334 rules that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”. UNSC 2334 “calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground”.
Obama contradicts the positions of both Rabin (Oslo Accords) and Clinton. By calling for the “reversal” of settlements Obama’s UNSC 2334 is basically calling for the ethnic cleansing of over 800,000 Jews that reside (in settlement blocks and in East Jerusalem) over the 1949 Armstice Lines (green line).
On December 24, 2016 Bloomberg reported “President Barack Obama’s administration staged a “shameful ambush” by allowing the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his first public comments since Friday’s vote.
…The resolution “doesn’t bring peace closer. It pushes it further away,” Netanyahu said Saturday…
…Under the resolution, he said, Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall would be considered “occupied territory,” which he termed “absurd.”
please see https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-24/obama-staged-shameful-ambush-against-israel-netanyahu-says
United with Israel reported “The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which dedicates itself to combating post-Holocaust anti-Semitism, has presented its list of the top 10 worst anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents that occurred over the course of 2016.
…The most stunning 2016 United Nations (UN) attack on Israel was facilitated by US President Obama when the US abstained on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for construction in Judea and Samaria. It reversed decades-long US policy of vetoing such diplomatic moves against the Jewish State.
In 2011, a similar resolution was vetoed by US Ambassador Susan Rice “This draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations”, she had said. That same year, President Obama told the UN General Assembly that peace would “not [come] through statements and resolutions at the UN”
The resolution, in effect, identifies Jerusalem’s holiest sites, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as “occupied Palestinian territory.” It also urges UN members “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967,” effectively endorsing BDS.
US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) echoed the sentiments of many Democrats and Republicans, labeling the resolution “destructive and irresponsible” and as seeking “to isolate and delegitimize Israel…US actions were completely unacceptable and reckless.”
Ezequiel Doiny is author of “Obama’s assault on Jerusalem’s Western Wall