Vote on Resolution 2334 (2016) in the UN Security Council. Image: UN Photo/Manuel Elias
After the U.S. failed to veto a UN resolution to halt settlement construction, Israel deepens its isolation
On the Friday before Christmas, U.S. President Obama, still in office, sent another signal to Donald Trump and to the Israeli government. Obama, as demanded, refused to give Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the long-held position of vetoing resolutions against Israel in the UN Security Council. Trump had also called for this in a tweet.
In this case, the ie was once again the illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, which continue to expand unabated under Netanyahu despite all criticism, including from the U.S. The resolution calls for an immediate end to the construction of settlements in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem and declares that the settlements built since 1967 are illegal, a "open violation" of international law and a "gross obstacle" for a two-state solution and a lasting peace represent a. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also outgoing, buried the resolution, which was adopted by 14 remaining members with the abstention of the U.S. important step, he said, demonstrating the leadership of the Security Council and the international community’s concerted efforts to reach a two-state solution.
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry stressed in a statement "lifelong friend of Israel, but that during this time both sides had to act and the settlements could not be pushed forward. They had talked endlessly with both sides and always made clear that they would stand up for Israel’s security – with numerous vetoes and most recently with the "the largest military support package in history". German Auben Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also backed the resolution: "The Security Council today reaffirmed what has long been the position of the German government: settlement construction in the occupied territories hinders the possibility of a peace process and threatens the foundations of the two-state solution."
Trump, as usual, made his displeasure known via tweets and announced that under his presidency, the U.S. will pursue a different course in the United Nations. He later justified his announcement by saying that Israel’s defeat will make it much harder to negotiate a peace: "But we will still manage", he promised, something all U.S. presidents have failed to achieve so far.
For Israel it is not unusual to stand almost alone, but now having been abandoned by the USA as well, Netanyahu now lashes out wildly. The resolution is "anti-Israeli", it says. Because Ukraine also voted for the resolution, he quickly canceled his planned trip to the country. Reportedly, he also wants to cancel the meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, as Times of Israel reported. Moreover, he loves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon all the ambassadors of the countries to the UN "Clarification" who voted for the decision, including the U.S. ambassador, which is highly unusual. Israel apparently wants Senegal to vote for the UN resolution and wants to reduce or cut financial support to the UN. It is interesting that Israel mainly praises the behavior of the Obama administration, but says nothing about Russia and China, which also voted for the resolution.
And Netanyahu instructed his ministers to be more careful and not to talk about new settlements or annexations until the inauguration of Donald Trump. He is said to be concerned that Barack Obama could introduce a resolution in the Security Council during his last days in office.
There is a background to this, as members of the ruling coalition are calling for consequences to be drawn from the resolution. Thus, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who chairs party "Jewish homeland" is, today, to have to choose between two alternatives: "to give up our country or the sovereignty. We tried to give up our country, but it didn’t work out. The time for sovereignty has come." By this he meant declaring the rough settlement of Ma’ale Adumim near Jerusalem as Israeli territory, after East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights had already come under Israel’s sovereignty.