Obama Administration Abstains From Anti-Israel UN Vote

The United Nations Security Council passed on Friday a resolution calling for an end to further Israeli settlement—with the United States government and its U.N. ambassador Samantha Power abstaining from the vote. The United States is one of five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power over any resolution.

The Obama administration had signaled they would not use their veto power, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought the help of incoming president Donald Trump to stop the resolution. After the Egyptian government withdrew the resolution due to Israeli pressure, four other nations reintroduced it.

Trump, who said the Obama adminstration should veto the resolution, has not yet issued a statement since its passage.

Several American lawmakers, from both parties, urged Obama to veto the resolution. Arkansas senator Tom Cotton issued a strongly worded statement after the resolution passed. “President Obama is personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution,” Cotton, a Republican, said. “His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it. This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.”

Cotton continued: “This resolution hurts the prospects for a secure and just peace by targeting Israel for building homes in Jerusalem, its own capital, while not specifically addressing Palestinian incitement of and financial support for terrorism. That’s why President Obama vetoed a similar, but less anti-Israel resolution in 2011—back when he still needed pro-Israel voters for his reelection.”

House speaker Paul Ryan also issued a statement, calling the situation “absolutely shameful.”

“Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel,” Ryan said. “Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”

This post originally appeared on Weekly Standard

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