In response to “BJC ‘Profoundly Disappointed by UN Resolution” (Dec. 30), media coverage of the U.S. decision not to veto Resolution 2334 has underemphasized two important points:
> President Barack Obama’s decision was, in fact, not at all unprecedented. Under President George W. Bush, six U.N. Security Council resolutions critical of Israel passed without a U.S. veto. What was unprecedented was Obama’s willingness — until last month — to shield Benjamin Netanyahu from the natural consequences of his actions.
> Netanyahu has no one but himself to blame for this diplomatic failure. He has empowered and supported the settlement movement that represents a very real threat to Israel’s survival as a democratic Jewish homeland. In the movie “The Gatekeepers,” the heads of Israel’s Shin Bet security service discuss in detail the violent, anti-democratic nature of many of the settlement movement’s leaders and supporters.
At a time like this, American Jews must ask: Can we consider ourselves to be true supporters of Israel if we fail to stand up for the values of Israel’s founders in the face of extremists who seek to undermine democratic norms, inclusive Judaism and the two-state solution? Are we truly helping Israel by trying to shield its current right-wing government from the inevitable results of its reckless actions?