In one of the immortal lines of Godfather 2, mafia boss Michael Corleone discusses the fate of his brother, who betrayed him, with his enforcer.
“I don’t want anything to happen to him while my mother is alive,” Corleone said.
The brother was murdered after their mother’s funeral.
Last week it was reported that the Obama administration has delivered a message to the Palestinian Authority. The administration has warned the PA that the US will veto any anti-Israel resolution brought before the UN Security Council before the US presidential elections on November 8.
Open season on Israel at the Security Council will commence November 9. The Palestinians are planning appropriately.
Israel needs to plan, too. Israel’s most urgent diplomatic mission today is to develop and implement a strategy that will outflank President Barack Obama in his final eight weeks in power.
Lobbying the administration is pointless. Obama has waited eight years to exact his revenge on Israel for not supporting his hostile, strategically irrational policies. And he has no interest in letting bygones be bygones.
Before turning to what Israel must do, first we need to understand what Israel can do.
A good place to begin is by considering what just transpired at UNESCO, where twice in a week, UNESCO bodies resolved to erase 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
The fight that Israel waged at UNESCO is not the fight it needs to wage at the Security Council. The stakes at the Security Council are far higher.
Like the UN General Assembly, UNESCO’s decisions are non-binding declarations that have no legal or operational significance. As such, there is no reason to expend great resources to fight them. For Israel, the goal of the fight at UNESCO is not to defeat anti-Israel initiatives. That is impossible given the Palestinians’ automatic majority.
The purpose of the fight at UNESCO is to humiliate European governments that side with antisemitic initiatives, and to weaken the congenitally anti-Israel body itself.
The government achieved both of these objectives. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s disavowal of his own government’s abstention from the vote on the first resolution – like the similar position taken after the fact by the Mexican government – was a diplomatic victory for Israel.
So too, the fact that UNESCO’s own Secretary-General Irina Bukova felt compelled to disavow her own agency’s actions by rejecting the resolution’s denial of the Jewish people’s ties to Jerusalem was a significant victory for Israel. Her statement was deeply damaging for UNESCO and its reputation.