Only the most utterly extraordinary circumstances justify a state’s defiance of a unanimous U.N. Security Council vote opposing its behavior.

Israel’s rogue status is now–by its defiance of a unanimous U.N. Security Council condemnation of its illegal policy of stealing Palestinian land, i.e., its creeping colonization policy–is now exposed about as clearly as it could be. Nothing is new in the details on the ground, but a clear red-line has been defined, leaving Israel isolated and on the wrong side.

Why does Israel, home to one of several cultural groups that should understand the long-term harm that comes from abusing a society, insist upon being the last European colonial power? How can the contradiction between their oppression of Muslim neighbors and their position in the center of the Muslim world be so utterly invisible to these European immigrants?

Someday, in the future, this U.N. legal precedent will be cited to justify action; for now, no doubt, it will simply constitute a diplomatic footnote. The politicians of both major U.S. parties remain far too blinded by short-term prejudices to see the harm that they cause the American people and the rest of the world by insisting on maintaining their support for right-wing, expansionist Israeli politicians who insist on alienating their infinitely more numerous neighbors. As a number of thoughtful Israelis are beginning to fear, this knee-jerk support for outdated colonialism is likely to harm the Israeli people most of all…but perhaps not until current actors have escaped responsibility. The issue, however, concerns not the guilty individuals so much as the long-term consequences for the societies condemned to live under the swirling clouds of oppression, racism, and reliance on force. When the inevitable denouement arrives, this U.N. legal precedent will have its day.


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