Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Barack Obama of colluding against Israel when he instructed his UN ambassador to abstain from voting on a resolution that condemned Israeli settlements.
“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” said Netanyahu’s bureau. “Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”
The resolution calls for an immediate halt on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but carries no force of law. Instead, the resolution will likely impact Israel’s global standing and could open the country to further attacks from the international community.
Israeli officials consider Obama’s abstention an “abandonment” of long-standing U.S. policy toward Israel at the U.N. Historically, the U.S. has used its veto power in the Security Council to prevent the passage of anti-Israel resolutions. Israeli officials consider such resolutions to be an attempt by the Palestinian Authority to avoid engaging in direct peace talks.
The Israeli government said it will impose sanctions on New Zealand and Senegal for their role in putting forward the Security Council resolution. Israel has no formal diplomatic ties with Venezuela and Malaysia, which also joined in calling for the vote on the resolution. Netanyahu’s bureau noted it will not subordinate itself to the “contemptible” resolution.
The Obama administration defended its move by blaming Israel’s settlement policy for the passage of the resolution.
Both Democratic and Republican law makers condemned the Obama administration’s decision to abstain.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called the resolution a “misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan referred to the vote as “a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel.”
“As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” tweeted President-elect Trump moments after the vote.
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