On Friday Dec. 23rd the Security Council voted on whether or not Israeli settlements should be banned. Barack Obama, against the better judgement of both Democrats and Republicans, decided to abstain from the vote, essentially condoning the opposition of Israel. This decision has damaged our relations with our closest ally in the Middle East.
Leading up to the vote, Democratic Senators including Joe Manchin, Richard Blumenthal, and Chris Coons joined Trump in demanding that Obama veto the action.
“I urge the Obama administration to veto the United Nations resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building,” Manchin said in his statement. “this U.N. resolution is not the way to pursue peace between the Palestinian authority and the state of Israel.”
Blumenthal said the U.N. resolution would “undermine” the possibility of “productive discussions” between Palestine and Israel in the near future. He followed up by stating that “this administration must now veto this most recent misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process,”.
Coons, who is a Democratic Senator on the Foreign Affairs committee, also took offense to the idea of Obama allowing this to pass. He said, “I urge the president to veto the resolution because it does nothing to advance peace or hope for a two-state solution,”
Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer has also demanded a veto. He announced that he was “strongly opposed to the U.N. putting pressure on Israel through one-sided resolutions.” He also stated, “The Administration must veto this resolution” and that “the U.N. has long shown its anti-Israel bias”.
After the abstention took place Republicans, Democrats, and our allies around the world were in uproar.
Blumenthal replied with, “The United States’ abstention from voting on such a flagrantly one-sided resolution is unconscionable,” and continued to say, “A two-state solution must be negotiated directly between the Israelis and Palestinians, and this resolution flies in the face of this necessity. Support for Israel must remain bipartisan, and I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance productive measures that strengthen our commitment to this critical ally.”
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden also decided to jump in the ring, condemning the White House’s decision saying, “I am deeply disappointed that the administration set aside longstanding U.S. policy to allow such a one-sided resolution to pass,” he continued to say, “Actions like this will only take us further from the peace we all want to see.”
Senator John McCain said, “Today’s passage of an ill-conceived resolution on Israeli settlements marks another shameful chapter in the bizarre anti-Israel history of the United Nations,”. Senator McCain was so outraged he even went as far to say that the decision to abstain was an “outrageous attack”.
Danny Danon, The UN ambassador for Israel, said “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. 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,”.
Donald Trump was quick to respond to these events in an attempt to reassure Israel of the U.S’s commitment to them. He promised that after he is inaugurated, “things will be different.”
In a statement, Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, had his office state that it looked forward to working with Trump, along with other pro-Israel members of congress. With the recent nomination of Friedman, that will definitely be the case.
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