This past week there have been three definite setbacks for Israel in the EU, UN and UK . First, the EU voted by a large majority to label goods from the so-called “occupied territories” as distinct from Israel, so that they can be discriminated against, even though there is no accepted legal basis for this distinction. To be balanced they should also label all goods from the PA as from “occupied territory” since they have no greater claim over those areas than Israel . But, non-legal bias causes the EU to be one-sided in its approach. Nevertheless, this is only a vote on a non-binding resolution that each member country in the EU can either implement or ignore.
The second set-back was the vote in the UN General Assembly to accept that “non-member states” can fly their flag at the UN. There are only two such non-member states at the UN, the Vatican and so-called “Palestine.” So this was a maneuver that degrades the value of statehood at the UN and allows Palestine a superficial success, without any substance, but nevertheless a victory for the Palestinians.
The third set-back was the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Leader of the British Labor Party. Corbyn is known for his anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian stance, and not only that he supports Hamas and Hizbollah, when they are clearly terrorist groups and have been labelled as such by the UK as well as by the US and UN. He is also against NATO and would probably pull Britain out of the EU. The choice of Corbyn reflects a move to the left of the Labor Party and against the trend of moderate New Labor of former PM Blair. The Unions also helped choose far leftist Ed Milliband and what a mistake that was. Now once again moving to the left will probably make Labor unelectable and the silver lining is that it will almost certainly ensure another Conservative victory at the next General election.
All these setbacks for Israel come against the backdrop of massive disasters in the Arab world, the melt-down of Syria, that is no longer a viable state, as well as the failure of Iraq and Libya. In fact in the Arab world there are more failed states than successful ones. But, there are certain ominous signs there too, the Russians have increased their aid to Pres. Assad, in order to help him maintain his hold of the coastal region where they have their naval and air base in Latakia. This means that the Russians area allied with Iran. Putin might not do this if he were concerned about the US reaction, but he knows that Pres. Obama will do nothing. However, since the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan by Islamic extremist forces, there is no certainty that Putin’s intervention in Syria will be successful.
Meanwhile, despite the superficial Palestinian advances, the PA is in disarray, Pres. Abbas has announced that he wants to resign, when in fact his legal term expired in 2006, but cannot resign because he can’t even get the Palestine National Council to meet. He is no state to be a partner for peace, and there are no replacements on the horizon. So who cares if the Palestine flag flies in NY, it is a hollow symbol.