LETTER TO EDITOR                                                   Sunday, January 1, 2017

Regarding your December 29th editorial “Obama widens rift with Israel. Why now?”

The fact that the United States abstained from a vote condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank is not unprecedented. Other US administrations have regularly abstained from or supported UN resolutions against Israeli actions.

During Ronald Reagan’s presidency the US abstained from SEVEN resolutions condemning Israel’s actions or policies. Those include the 1988 resolution 611 condemning the killing of Fatah leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia.

The US abstained in 1988 from resolution 608 that condemned Israel for deporting Palestinians. The US abstained from resolution 605 in 1987 condemning Israel for killing Palestinian students.. The US abstained from resolution 573 in 1985, which condemned Israel for an air raid on Tunisia in response to the killing of three Israeli citizens in Cyprus. The US also abstained from resolution 517 in 1982 condemning Israel for its involvement in Lebanon.

Since Richard Nixon Republican Presidents were using abstentions at least THIRTEEN times. Under the Obama administration the US abstained ONCE but is being widely criticized as having hostile attitudes towards Israel.

I suggest to cool down the partisan rhetoric and to return to a rational debate on how to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Bernd Wollschlaeger,MD,FAAFP,FASAM

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