Why many Israelis don't like President Obama

UN resolution on settlement policy : Israel feels betrayed by its ally

For many Israelis, the matter is clear. The resolution of the UN Security Council, in which the settlement policy is condemned, is like an affront. There has been talk of a disgraceful blow for days, even treason. The Jewish state feels abandoned. It doesn't mean the United Nations. The organization has a pretty bad reputation anyway and is considered hostile to Israel with good reason. Rather, the anger is directed against the United States, its most important ally.

Largest incident to be assumed

So far, it has always been possible to rely on the superpower to take sides with Israel and to make this clear with its veto. Now Barack Obama has destroyed this iron certainty. America’s abstention from the Security Council is, according to the rulers in Jerusalem, the greatest disruptive incident to be assumed. Rightly. The fact that the outgoing US president is showing off his intimate enemy Benjamin Netanyahu again on the diplomatic stage plays a rather subordinate role.

The key message is a different one: Israel is politically isolated like rarely before. Even the US is fatally turning away. The enemies of the Jewish state should take note of this with great satisfaction. In Israel, on the other hand, those forces are being strengthened who preach that the country can only rely on itself. Neither does the unrest region of the Middle East any safer. In any case, Obama did not show great skill. As so often during his tenure.

The same goes for Netanyahu. He is angry - and everyone should feel it. But to pillory those states that supported the resolution is the opposite of helpful. Many consider the Israeli prime minister to be resistant to advice and persistent, especially when it comes to Jewish settlements. And will now feel confirmed once again. The outlawed and illegal housing construction in the occupied territories is also highly controversial in Israel.

If Netanyahu really wanted to impress the world and his many critics, he would at least order a stop to the construction of settlements. He could then throw that into the balance when negotiating with the Palestinians. If he wanted to. But that won't happen for the time being. Because the head of government - forced into a coalition corset with the national religious - hardly has a free hand domestically. And because Netanyahu firmly expects foreign policy support for his course soon: from the USA and its future president. Donald Trump should fix it.

Trump, the comforter

This hope is no coincidence. Shortly after the decision of the UN Security Council, the Republican tweeted “With regard to the UN: After January 20, it will be different.” In plain language, this means that the US will again make consistent use of its veto right from the start of his term in office. So stand by Israel's side.

For Netanyahu, this is more than comforting news. Because it fits what Trump has signaled with his statements and initial personnel decisions: He will largely give the right-wing government of the Jewish state a free hand. Not least with the delicate settlement policy.

Immediately after Trump's election victory, Israel's hardliners also rejoiced that they now had a real friend by their side. The two-state solution is finally off the table. And that's what it currently looks like. This does not bode well for the search for peace.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page