As UN condemns settlements, outrage in Israel at both Obama, Netanyahu
MENAHEM KAHANA (POOL/AFP/Archives)
As the UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank, responses in the Jewish state ranged from outrage at US President Barack Obama over the abstention from vetoing the measure, to blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing policies for alienating the international community.
Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying "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 strongly worded statement charged that "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."
Israel's Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz charged that Washington had effectively "abandoned Israel, its only ally in the Middle East," further adding that such "behavior" was not befitting of a "friend."
Whereas Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister, conceding the resolution was "bad" for Israel, laid the blame at Netanyahu's door for "surrendering" to the far right: "Netyanyahu passed the [pro-settlement] regulation bill and we all will pay the price," she wrote on Twitter.
Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog spoke of "a difficult evening for Israel," saying that whatever illusions Israelis had over "the applause" Netanyahu's speeches received abroad were "shattered" by a decision that leaves Israel "an an outcast among the nations."
Fellow Zionist Union lawmakers Eitan Cabel, Erel Margalit and Yoel Hasson accused Netanyahu of self-centered arrogance and "political sloppiness," which "cost Israel dear."
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the predominantly Arab United List faction, charged that Netanyahu's policies, including the regulation bill, showed the world he's the "peace refusenik," echoing the language of Netanyahu and right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestinian officials including veteran statesman and negotiator Saeb Erekat spoke of a "victory."
Ryan slams 'shameful' abstention
In the US, prominent conservative supporters of Israel condemned the resolution.
The US GOP House Majority leader slammed the US abstention as "absolutely shameful," saying the resolution was aimed to "isolate and demonize" Israel.
Republican Senator John McCain said the abstention makes the US "complicit in this outrageous attack" against Israel.
President-elect Trump responded to the vote saying, "Things will be different after Jan. 20th."
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Israeli opposition leaders are clearly pandering to their respective political bases hoping to garner support when they've failed at elections numerous times. The PM is and has always been the champion for his country, the only Jewish state in this planet. Soni say to the Israeli politicians, get off you high horses and support the PM who has been consistently fighting for Israel's security and legitimacy. As for Obama, he has now entered the realm of the anti Semite, Carter. It doesn't get any lower than that. Shame on you Obama!!! You have discredited everything America stands for and stabbed the best and only ally in the Middle East. Cheers for Trump who will formulate a policy that makes sense for Israel, the US and the Middle East.
I agree with what Ezra Hanz commented.
I didn't expect President Obama to support Israel. He seems to think that Israel is THE problem. This is not the fault of PM Netanyahu. Read the Book of Joel in the TANAKH...