Last Friday, the Security Council voted 14-0 in a decision to denounce Israeli settlements on terrain occupied by Palestine as a “flagrant violation” of international law, demanding that “all Israeli settlement activities” be terminated. Their justification for this conclusion was that the decision was “essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”
President Barack Obama, who could have vetoed this action, instead decided to abstain from the vote and allow it to pass, going against the long history of the U.S. protecting Israel from U.N. decisions that may harm their standing in the world.
Danny Keyes, the spokesperson to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that “We have rather ironclad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the United States and in fact they helped create the resolution in the first place,”
Keyes said that Israel was “deeply disappointed” by the Obama administration and went on to say, “I think what we’re seeing is an abandonment of Israel, and an abandonment of a long-standing American policy,”.
Netanyahu made Israel’s discontent with the situation crystal clear. He stated that the decision was “hostile and unbalanced” and that “we do not turn the other cheek”. He then “instructed the foreign ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the funding of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in Israel”.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon has since announced that Israel will be downsizing diplomatic labor relationships with several countries on the United Nations Security Council including France, Britain, China, Spain, Japan, Angola, Egypt, Ukraine, Russia, Uruguay, Senegal and New Zealand.
Nahshon stated, “Until further notice, we’ll limit our contacts with the embassies here in Israel and refrain from visits of Israeli officials to those states, and of visits of officials from those states here,” According to reports, communication between Israel and the embassies in those countries will also be halted.
But, the announcement does not apply to Israeli ambassadors already within those countries, meaning that they will be able to continue their job unaffected.
This decision came about after consuls from Spain, Angola, Russia, Japan, Egypt, Ukraine, France, Uruguay, China, The United Kingdom and U.S. ambassador Dan Shapiro were convened to attend meetings with the Foreign Ministry of Israel.
The pragmatic effect of this is questionable since trade will remain unaffected as well as defensive alliances and other major parts of foreign relations. But, it does provide a voice for Israel’s outrage at the situation.
Netanyahu has shown that he is hopeful of the future. He stated that, “Not only will our relations with the nations of the world not be harmed, over time they will only improve because the nations of the world respect strong countries that stand up for themselves and do not respect weak ingratiating countries that bow their heads,”
He has also stated that he looks forward to cooperating with President-elect Trump, our new ambassador David Friedman, and the many pro Israel members of congress who have promised to introduce legislation that will reassert the U.S. commitment to Israel.