Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded angrily to the U.S. failure to veto a vote by the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel for settlements in Palestinian territories. The vote passed 14-0, with the U.S. abstaining.
The focus of Netanyahu's wrath was President Obama, whom the Prime Minister accused of colluding against Israel, in statement released by his office.
"Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall 'occupied territory'.
The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes. Israel looks forward to to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harm effects of this absurd resolution."
To say that Obama and his administration view the U.S.-Israeli relationship differently is the understatement of understatements. Ben Rhodes, Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor, claimed on Friday that Obama has done more for Israel than any other president.
"Let me just step back and put this in context for a moment. President Obama has done more for Israel and its security than any previous U.S. President.
We just recently signed with Israel the single largest U.S. military assistance package in history — $38 billion over the coming decade. That comes after an administration in which we provided lifesaving assistance for the Iron Dome Missile Defense System."
Rhodes suggested that the U.S. decision to abstain — rather than veto — wasn't Obama's fault, but rather the fault of the “flawed” U.N.
“The United Nations, we continue to believe, is a flawed venue for this issue in that it has frequently been used to single out Israel, often through completely over-the-top exercises, that — again, when it comes to final status issues, we believe that those should be negotiated between the parties.”
Given that Hamas and Hezbollah often attempt to “negotiate” with Israel by firing rockets into civilian areas, the passage of yet another U.N. condemnation of Israel is likely to further “legitimize” attacks against the Jewish nation in their minds.
President-elect Trump posted opposition to the vote on his Facebook page Thursday, saying its passage would put Israel in a weak negotiating position.
The vote was postponed until Friday. After it passed, Trump issued what amounted to a warning to the U.N.:
The president-elect pledged throughout the presidential campaign to be a stronger supporter of Israel. The day following the election, the Jewish Press published a “complete list” of Trump's promises as a reminder.