Mark Lynch has a sobering post up at the consequences of the Obama administration blocking the Goldstone Commission report before the UNHRC. The thought process behind it seems to be restoring some credibility with an increasingly skeptical Israeli population which, not unjustifiably, despises the committee with a fiery passion. Unfortunately, it appears to have backfired dramatically. The pressure Obama put on the PA to withdraw its support for the report has decimated their popular credibility with the Palestinians, dramatically enhancing Hamas and other dissident radicals in the process. At the same time, Obama appears to have gotten virtually no credit for the action by the Israeli people, who seem to feel entitled to the American shield in this regard.
And perhaps they are, in the sense that the US should act to shield all peoples (including Jews) from being unfairly targeted and singled out by biased international bodies. But when the US does that, it deserves to be recognized for it. Many Israelis seem to want to have their cake and eat it too -- continue to view Obama as some sort of anti-Israeli zealot while still viewing American protection of Israeli interests as par for the course. They can't have it both ways -- and when they try, it makes it virtually impossible to do the parallel work of building American credibility with the Palestinian people.