[Guest post by DRJ]
Via the Instapundit, Commentary’s Jennifer Rubin recounts California Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman’s recent town hall meeting with Jewish constituents, including his response to their questions about President Obama’s questionable support for Israel:
“Nearly all the questions dealt with the controversy. The meeting hall of this large congregation was packed, and the temple’s parking lot was entirely full, forcing people to park on the street nearby. Nearly all questions and audience feedback were negative, with virtually no applause for Sherman’s answers. There was lots of clapping for hostile questions, lots of hostile rumblings as he tried to answer charges, and some answers were booed. Even the moderator at the end basically accused Sherman of not actually answering a lot of the questions. The audience was not sold on Obama being pro-Israel, nor on Sherman’s excuses for the current situation.
Sherman portrayed himself [sic] as more pro-Israel and more concerned about Iran than any U.S. president during his Congressional service. He shrugged off the current controversy as something we will have forgotten in a few years, arguing that the U.S. relationship with Israel is fine because the foreign aid package remains and we haven’t yet stopped vetoing anti-Israel UN resolutions. While he promised action on his part concerning sanctions on Iran, he expressed skepticism that anything would really be done (at one point “joking” that the rabbi would be more useful than he, as if divine intervention would be required), and kept emphasizing that any military option would spike gas prices. These statements did not go over well.”
Sometimes it stands out when politicians are very careful with their rhetoric, and Sherman’s response is a good example. Notice how he says “we haven’t yet stopped vetoing anti-Israel UN resolutions” as evidence of the Obama Administration’s continuing support for Israel. Now compare that with this BBC report dated March 28, 2010:
“The US is considering abstaining from a possible UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, sources suggest to the BBC. The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar’s foreign minister. The official said the US would “seriously consider abstaining” if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC.
US officials in Washington have not confirmed the report. There are no concrete plans at present to table such a resolution at the UN by any state. But it is likely that the US is considering how to maintain pressure says BBC state department correspondent Kim Ghattas.
The US usually blocks Security Council resolutions criticising Israel. But relations between the allies have been severely strained by the announcement of plans to build 1,600 homes in an East Jerusalem settlement during a recent visit to Israel by US Vice-President Joe Biden.”
So the Obama Administration may abstain on UN votes regarding Israel … or as Senator Obama might say, the U.S. may vote “Present” on Israel. Thus, for now, it’s true “we haven’t yet stopped vetoing anti-Israel UN resolutions.” But it appears Congressman Sherman’s constituents know that’s just spin. It also appears Congressman Sherman has been briefed on the Party line.