The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a harsh statement on Friday criticizing the United Nations Security Council’s vote in favor of a resolution condemning Israeli activity in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
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 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 passed 14-0 with the United States abstaining. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power chose not to use her veto privilege, which would have blocked the resolution.
Netanyahu’s comments were echoed by Yair Lapid, the former Finance Minister who now leads one of Israel’s biggest opposition parties. Speaking to reporters before the Security Council vote on Friday, Lapid warned that the resolution will create “a tailwind for violence and terror.”
Lapid added that there was “no coalition or opposition” in the Israeli government when it came to this issue, as the entire political establishment holds similar views. He noted that the resolution condemns Israeli activity in eastern Jerusalem, where the Western Wall and Temple Mount are located, and “there is no Israeli government, ever, that can accept that.”
The Obama administration’s decision not to use its veto power was also heavily criticized by leaders of President Barack Obama’s own party, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“Since the days of ‘Zionism is racism,’ the U.N. has long shown its anti-Israel bias, and the U.S. government – both Democrats and Republicans – have admirably kept the U.N. out when it comes to negotiations. That tradition should continue,” Schumer said in a statement released hours before the vote.
“Whatever one’s views on settlements, anyone who cares about the future of Israel and peace in the region knows that the U.N., with its one sidedness, is exactly the wrong forum to bring about peace.”
Fatah, the party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, conversely praised the resolution’s adoption, as did the Iran-backed terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Daoud Shahab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, said “it has become possible to isolate, boycott, and pursue Israel in international forums,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad praises UN resolution, says it will pave way for isolating and boycotting Israel.
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) December 23, 2016
Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, similarly expressed its appreciation to the Security Council following the resolution’s passage, The New York Times reported. “We praise the countries that voted for the resolution,” said Hazem Kassem, a spokesperson for the Islamist group. “We emphasize the need to turn such a resolution into action, not only to halt settlements but to eradicate Israel’s occupation in all its forms.”
Hamas considers the entirety of Israel to be occupied Palestinian territory. In its charter, it vowed to “obliterate” the Jewish state and said “there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
[Photo: Brookings Institution / YouTube ]