In a stunning change in traditional US policy, the Obama administration did not exercise its veto and instead allowed an anti-Israel resolution to pass 14-0 at the UN.
The United States allowed the UN Security Council on Friday to condemn Jewish settlements and construction in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Instead of casting a veto to support Israel, as is traditional US policy, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power abstained, allowing the Council to approve the resolution in a 14-0 vote.
The anti-Israel resolution says Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, “occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,” have “no legal validity.” It demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”
The Holy City of Jerusalem and the region of Judea and Samaria, as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai, were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, when the Jewish state was under attack by the surrounding Arab nations, determined to exterminate it.
Trump Slams Anti-Israel Resolution
The UN Resolution condemning Israeli settlements, originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon, was postponed indefinitely, following intervention by US President-elect Donald Trump.
“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” Trump wrote on his Facebook page. “This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
“As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th” Trump tweeted after the vote took place.
“Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said Obama’s abstention “has made us complicit in this outrageous attack” and added the abstention “emboldens” Israel’s enemies.
Netanyahu Blasts Obama Administration
“Israel categorically rejects the despicable anti-Israeli resolution at the UN, and will not adhere to it,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office declared.
“While the Security Council does nothing to prevent the massacre of half a million people in Syria, it is shamefully singling out Israel — the only democracy in the Middle East. The Obama administration not only failed to defend Israel from this harassment at the UN, it cooperated with it behind the scenes,” the PMO stated.
“The United States abandoned Israel, its only ally in the Middle East,” Minister Yuval Steinitz told Channel 2 News. “The heart aches that after eight years of friendship… and cooperation with Obama, this is his final chord” before leaving office.
Member of Knesset Yoav Kisch said the outgoing president has “betrayed Israel,” as well as other allies.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad Celebrate Anti-Israel Vote
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the vote, hailing it as a “big blow” to Israeli policy.
Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad celebrated the anti-Israel vote, with Hamas saying it marks an “important evolution.”