The New York Times reports: Undeterred by a resounding defeat at the United Nations, Israel’s government said Monday that it would move ahead with thousands of new homes in East Jerusalem and warned nations against further action, declaring that Israel does not “turn the other cheek.”
Just a few days after the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements, Jerusalem’s municipal government signaled that it would not back down: The city intends to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town on Wednesday in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes.
The defiant posture reflected a bristling anger among Israel’s pro-settlement political leaders, who not only blamed the United States for failing to block the Council resolution, but also claimed to have secret intelligence showing that President Obama’s team had orchestrated it. American officials strongly denied the claim, but the sides seem poised for more weeks of conflict until Mr. Obama hands over the presidency to Donald J. Trump.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at Security Council countries by curbing diplomatic contacts, recalling envoys, cutting off aid and summoning the American ambassador for a scolding. He canceled a planned visit this week by Ukraine’s prime minister even as he expressed concern on Monday that Mr. Obama was planning more action at the United Nations before his term ends next month.
The prime minister defended his retaliation. “Israel is a country with national pride, and we do not turn the other cheek,” he said. “This is a responsible, measured and vigorous response, the natural response of a healthy people that is making it clear to the nations of the world that what was done at the U.N. is unacceptable to us.” [Continue reading…]
Let’s suppose the resolution that just passed in the Security Council was now presented to the General Assembly. It would, without doubt, also receive overwhelming support there too.
In that event, what would Netanyahu then do? Look for ways in which Israel can punish the whole world?
That Netanyahu insists Israel does not “turn the other cheek,” says two things:
He views the resolution as a form of victimization. The UN, supposedly under Obama’s direction, is “ganging up” on Israel.
And this victimization is an expression of anti-Semitism — by referencing the Christian dictum, he is insinuating that the resolution is implicitly an attack on Jews.
But this is a reflex doomed for endless repetition. Those who truly believe that the whole world stands against them, not because of what they do but because of who they are, allow themselves to be snared by their own identity.