For those of us who hoped that President Barack Obama would usher in a new era supporting international law, the United Nations, and Israeli-Palestinian peace, 2011 proved to be a profoundly disappointing year. The Obama administration blocked Palestinian membership in the UN, refused to pressure Israel to make the necessary compromises for peace, and vetoed a mildly worded UN Security Council resolution that supported the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and reiterated the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied territories.

Though international conflicts—including those between Israel and its neighbors—have historically been addressed in the UN, the Obama administration insists that this should no longer be the case. While President Obama has been eager to use the UN to go after governments he doesn’t like—such as Iran, Syria, and Gaddafi’s Libya—he takes a very different view regarding U.S. allies like the rightist government of Israeli Prime...

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