Israel rejects the UN Security Council’s anti-settlement resolution out of hand and has no intention of abiding by it, the Prime Minister’s Bureau said late Friday, accusing Obama of “colluding” against Israel. The United States, a permanent member of the council, abstained from the vote.
Israel said it will impose sanctions on two states that pushed for the UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal for consultation. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with the two other states that called for a vote on the resolution – Venezuela and Malaysia.
The prime minister’s bureau said that Netanyahu has canceled an impending visit of the Senegalese foreign minister to Israel, and ordered the Foreign Ministry to void all planned aid to the country. He also canceled the visits of the non-resident ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand.
Netanyahu’s bureau also lambasted United States President Barack Obama for not casting a veto against the resolution.
“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” the bureau said. “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.”
Immediately after the vote, Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the United States abandoned Israel at the UN Security Council. “The United States abandoned Israel, its only ally in the Middle East,” Steinitz told Ch. 2 News immediately after the vote. “The heart aches that after eight years of friendship… and cooperation with Obama, this is his final chord” before he leaves office.
Israel‘s ambassador to the UN, Danny Dannon, also criticized the U.S. abstention. “It was expected that Israel’s greatest friend would act according to its decades-long policy and veto the one-sided resolution,” he said, adding that he has “no doubt” that the new U.S. administration will usher in a new era. Soon after the vote, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
Opposition slams Netanyahu
“This is a difficult night for Israel,” Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said following the vote. “I strongly oppose this harsh resolution of the UN Security Council, which is a strategic defeat for Israel.”
Saying that the United States should have vetoed the resolution, Herzog said the motion “seriously harms our capital Jerusalem, the settlement blocs and Israel‘s status and diplomatic achievements accumulated over the years.” A reasonable and responsible government would have prevented it, he said.
Meretz leader Zehava Galon said that she was happy the U.S. administration did not veto the resolution which was “against the policy of annexation and settlement and not against Israel.” The resolution, she added, was “the direct result of the law to legalize settlements, with Israel having lost all its shame and the world having lost its patience.”
Also reacting to the vote, Joint List leader Aymen Odeh said that “the arrogance of Netanyahu and his ministers, the law to legalize settlement outposts and the stealing of Palestinian land, all those led the international community to understand that the true denier of peace is the government of Israel.” Odeh called to work for “the establishment of a Palestinian state and a peace agreement that will be good for both Palestinians and Israelis.”
Knesset member Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) said the resolution was entirely the failure of Netanyahu and his policy. “Apparently the picture that Netanyahu paints us of how our situation in the world has never been better is part of the movie he lives in,” she said. “Netanyahu, [Education Minister Naftali] Bennet and [Finance Minister Moshe] Kahlon refuse to internalize the fact that the conflict with the Palestinians won’t go away.”
Knesset member Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) referred to the Security Council resolution during an address to the Palestinian community in Rome on Friday night. “The world said no to settlements,” he said, describing a bill to legalize unauthorized West Bank outposts, being advanced in the Knesset, “spitting in the face of the world.”