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December 23, 2016 3:43 pm

With Obama Administration Abstaining, UN Security Council Approves Anti-Israeli Settlement Resolution

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Photo: Screenshot.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Photo: Screenshot.

The UN Security Council voted 14-0 on Friday — with the US abstaining — in favor of an anti-settlement resolution that was vehemently opposed by Israel.

In a statement issued following the vote, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon expressed disappointment in the Obama administration.

“It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution,” Danon said. “I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN secretary-general will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel.”

Furthermore, Danon declared, “Neither the Security Council nor UNESCO can sever the tie between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.”

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The approved resolution demands, among other things, that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities” in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Ahead of Friday afternoon’s Security Council vote on the resolution, major Jewish and other pro-Israel groups mobilized in an ultimately futile effort to thwart its passage.

Following the vote, US President-elect Donald Trump tweeted tersely, “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said in a statement, “The administration’s decision, for the first time in eight years, not to block an anti-Israel measure at the UN Security Council is profoundly disturbing. It only encourages diplomatic end-runs and diversionary tactics, which hinder rather than advance the prospects for peace.”

Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — stated, “Today’s abstention by the United States at the UN Security Council’s anti-Israel resolution will only make a negotiated peace in the Middle East much more difficult to achieve. Given the continued explosion of terrorist assaults around the world, the UN resolution should have demanded the end of Hamas’ presence as a prerequisite for a two-state solution.”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “This is a dismaying decision by the Security Council which does nothing to enhance the role of the United Nations in resolving the Middle East conflict, and once again singles out Israel for condemnation… A peace agreement cannot be imposed from the outside, but reached only through bilateral talks between Israelis and Palestinians.”

B’nai B’rith International stated it “deeply regrets that the US did not vote to veto this unnecessary and self-defeating resolution. This is the latest display of obscene imbalance in how the United Nations treats Israel and directly shows how deep the world body has sunk from its original mission of fairness and objectivity.”

The pro-Israel education and advocacy group StandWithUs said, “The resolution mentioned important obstacles to peace such as terrorism and incitement to violence, but failed to hold Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (PA) explicitly accountable for these destructive activities. On the other hand, Israel was directly criticized and blamed in clause after clause.”

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein added, “While both sides in this conflict are subject to criticism, placing most of the blame on Israel while shielding Palestinian leaders from accountability is not a path to peace or justice for either side.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said, “We are outraged over the US failure to veto this biased and unconstructive UNSC resolution on Israel. This resolution will do little to renew peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. It will only encourage further Palestinian intransigence.”


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