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The New York Times reported recently that incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had “condemned” the decision to let the United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi offered muted criticisms in a public statement that tried to split the baby, praising Obama’s commitment to peace while criticizing the decision to let the U.N. resolution pass:

“While adding settlements does not move us closer to peace, neither does this troubling U.N. resolution. The two-state solution has been the bedrock of peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians for decades. The resolution passed by the UN Security Council today does not bring us closer to this goal.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Pelosi’s lieutenant, released as scathing a statement about this whole matter as anyone in Washington. He noted that he had “urged the Administration to veto the recently passed U.N. Security Council resolution regarding Israel and settlements,” and went on:

“I urge Secretary Kerry and the Administration not to set forth a formula, which will inevitably disadvantage Israel in any negotiation. The United States must now take steps to signal unequivocally to the entire world that we will continue to stand by our ally Israel as it seeks to build a future of peace and safety as a Jewish state and an equal member of the family of nations.”

The upshot here is that there is that every Democrat who will be important after Obama is gone opposes what his administration is doing right now. There won’t be any important Democratic voices left in Washington after Obama is gone to lend continuity to what he did with the U.N. resolution and with what John Kerry’s speech today tried to accomplish. If anything, the congressional Democratic leadership will probably be pulling Trump in a more pro-Israeli direction if Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resume, or even if they don’t.

Without getting into any of the notoriously contentious debates about what U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinian territories is or should be, this kind of throws the entire exercise into question. We’re seeing impotent and inconsequential last-minute acting out by a lame-duck president, and it won’t leave much behind in terms of U.S. policy going forward.

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Exchange gives a sense of why processes like Senate procedure have real-life consequences.

12/28/16 2:21 PM



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