Huffpost WorldPost
Ami Kaufman Headshot

It's official: America's Role in the Mideast Is Over

Posted: Updated:

They're not "illegal". They're "illegitimate".

That's the excuse that the world's most powerful nation, a beacon of freedom and democracy, came up with to explain why it vetoed a UNSC resolution calling Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

That's the best they had.

All the President's men, all the President's speech writers, all the President's media strategists - they all worked for days on end on that one. And that's the ingenious combination of letters and syllables they came up with to define an Israeli policy - that they themselves oppose! That they themselves were willing to pay billions of dollars just so Israel would stop it for three months. 90 days!!!

They're not "illegal". They're "illegitimate".

Those guys in the West Wing really got their act together when it comes to copy writing. Good stuff.

But I still don't get it. All you had to do was abstain. What's the worst that could have happened? Lieberman would have gotten angry? Netanyahu would have frowned? Honestly, what is the worst thing that could have happened from just sitting back and letting the world show some solidarity with the Palestinians? Were the threats coming from AIPAC that bad? What other explanation could there be?

Your ambassador, Susan Rice, had a strange explanation. She said that a one-sided UN vote would hamper the chance to reach a deal through negotiations. What negotiations was she talking about, exactly? The ones you failed to renew? And how can you claim anything to be one-sided, when you were the only ones to vote against this resolution?

They're not "illegal". They're "illegitimate". Classic.

No wait, not classic - a masterpiece.

A masterpiece of hypocrisy.

On the one hand, you have a president who promises change - yet keeps the good old paradigm of "Israel + U.S. = everlasting occupation".

On the one hand, you have a president who can call for freedom in the Arab world - from Cairo to Tehran, as protesters are being shot down - and just hours later shoot down the hopes of freedom for Palestinians. They're exempt from your vision.

On the one hand, you have a president who promised to be a fair and neutral broker in the Mideast, but proved to be exactly what the Palestinians have said all these years: The Americans care only about the Israelis. You've lost any ounce of credibility you had left.

On the one hand, you have a president who seemed to not care about the lobbyists, but turned out that the only thing he had in his sights were the upcoming 2012 presidential elections.

On the one hand, you have a president who people thought would work to end the Israeli occupation of the territories, but turned out to be weak in light of the Israeli occupation of Capitol Hill.

They're not "illegal". They're illegitimate.

"Pathetic" is an understatement. "Irrelevant" is much more appropriate. "Irrelevant" is the new sign that should be stuck on your back, Mr. President. It's time for someone else to take over this show.

Since you've taken office, you've shown nothing but incompetence when it comes to maneuvering between the powers of the Mideast and a gross misunderstanding of the conflict.

You've done nothing. And you've had your chance.

As an American, I am ashamed.

This article was originally published on +972 Magazine