Obama Takes Cheap Parting Shot at Netanyahu With UN Abstention

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from USAToday,

In an unprecedented diplomatic rebuke of Israel, the United States abstained Friday on a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, allowing the highly charged measure to pass.

The resolution was approved 14-0 with the one abstention. The vote was greeted with loud applause in the packed Security Council chamber.

The measure demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” It declares the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

In abstaining, the U.S. brushed aside calls for a veto by president-elect Donald Trump who, in an unprecedented move, managed to delay the vote a day by weighing in with Egypt, the initial sponsor of the resolution.

In a tweet after the vote, Trump offered his reaction to the outcome: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

In a statement issued by his office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. and will not abide by its terms.”

“At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.”

Netanyahu, whose relations with President Obama have been decidedly strained over the past eight years, said the Obama administgratgion “not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the U.N., it colluded with it behind the scenes.”

“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,” the statement said.

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