Trump tells Israel to 'stay strong' until inauguration
SAUL LOEB (AFP/File)
US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Israel to "stay strong" until his inauguration, saying that "[w]e cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect."
Trump lamented on his Twitter account that Israel "used to have a great friend in the U.S." but does not any longer.
"The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)!" he wrote, referring to the recent UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump in his own tweet, writing: "President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!"
Trump has been highly critical of US President Barack Obama's decision to refrain from vetoing UN Resolution 2334.
On Monday, he dismissed the United Nations as "just a club" for people to "have a good time."
Following Friday's UN vote, Trump said that regarding the international organization, "things will be different after Jan. 20th," referring to the day of his inauguration.
The vote, and the United States' decision not to exercise its veto power, came after Trump publicly called for a US veto.
The Israeli government was outraged by Obama's decision to refrain from vetoing the resolution. The Prime Minister’s Office on Monday evening reiterated an earlier claim by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Obama administration was behind the resolution coming to a vote at all.
“Israel stands by the things that were said,” the PMO said in a statement. “The Obama administration is behind the draft and advancement of the Security Council resolution.
“The Obama administration’s conduct reflects the policies set out by the president in his first meeting with Netanyahu in 2009, when he said: ‘Not even a single brick should be go up beyond the Green Line.'”
Ben Rhodes, a senior aide to President Barack Obama, meanwhile rejected claims that the US “ambushed” Israel by abstaining in Friday’s vote.
“By definition it’s not an ambush when Obama and [John] Kerry have been saying that Israeli settlement activity was making a two-state solution unachievable,” Rhodes, who serves as a deputy national security adviser, told Israel's Channel 2 television.
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