Left-wing magazine claims maps shocked Obama into anti-Israel UN abstention

Obama’s decision at the end of his presidency to abstain on a UN Security Council vote against Israel was supposedly motivated by maps of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that were brought to his attention.

By: World Israel News Staff

A report in The New Yorker, a magazine with a pro-Obama, anti-Trump and anti-Netanyahu stand, claims maps showing the expansion of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria were a crucial factor in the US decision in December 2016 to abstain on  a UN vote castigating Israel for its housing policy in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

The New Yorker report, published Monday, claims to shed light on the Obama administration’s decision to abstain on a vote in the UN Security Council on Resolution 2334, which facilitated its passage.

In what was seen at the time as a stunning departure from US policy vis-a-vis Israel, the Obama administration decided to abstain on the vote that demanded an immediate halt to all Israeli settlement activity in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem neighborhoods that came under Israeli control after the Six Day War.

According to the report, Frank Lowenstein, at the time a senior State Department official and Obama’s special envoy on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, discovered maps which showed precisely how much of the area that came under Israeli control since 1967 was either populated by Israeli communities or off limits to Palestinians.

It was not clear from the New Yorker report why it is that for eight years the Obama administration was clueless regarding the extent of Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Nor was it mentioned that Israel agreed to a settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria at the end of 2009, which continued through the end of 2010 as a precondition for restarting negotiations with the Palestinians. However, the Palestinians refused to meet with Israel.

Lowenstein told The New Yorker that in 2015 he was astounded to discover that the areas under full Israeli control and off limits to Palestinians made up 60% of the total territory.

Lowenstein said that he brought the maps to then-US secretary of state John Kerry who in turn showed them to Obama.

Kerry placed the maps on a coffee table in the Oval Office for Obama and his adviser, Ben Rhodes, to inspect, the story continues.

Rhodes said the president was shocked to see how “systematic” the Israelis had been at cutting off Palestinian population centers from one another.

Alarmed by Israeli actions depicted in the maps, Obama decided to abstain on the UN security council resolution condemning the settlements, the report claims.

New Yorker reporter Adam Entous referred to it as “Obama’s final act of defiance against Benjamin Netanyahu, before Donald Trump took office and put in place policies that were far more accepting of the settlers.”