Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to condemn Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as a violation of international law. The US abstained.
Infuriated by the vote, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to cut ties with Britain, Russia, France, Japan, China, Angola, Ukraine, Uruguay, Egypt, Senegal, Spain, and New Zealand.
The United States has veto power in the UN Security Council, and our decision to abstain is a slap in the face to our longtime ally. In other words: we’re supposed to have Israel’s back, but we did nothing to stop the vote.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asks why the Obama Administration is “waging war against Israel.”
“Why are they taking steps to isolate and then kill a democracy and an ally?” he tweeted on Monday. “President-elect Trump must prepare a comprehensive offensive…to undo the damage to Israel the Obama team is inflicting.”
Israel’s decision means that it will no longer receive foreign ministers from those 12 nations. Business between Israel and those nations’ embassies will be suspended, and Israeli ministers will keep travel to those places at a minimum.
The practical effects of such an order are yet to be seen. It will not affect security cooperation or trade, but “it acts as a statement of Netanyahu’s anger at the situation,” reports The Hill. “It also notably excludes the United States, which has been on the receiving end of most of Netanyahu’s public lashings.”
Netanyahu agrees that Obama was behind the UN vote. “We have no doubt that the Obama Administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording, and demanded that it be passed,” he said.
Netanyahu calls Obama’s actions “shameful” and says he looks forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, whom he calls a “friend.”
A year ago, Trump told the press that he planned to be “very neutral” in regards to Israel-Palestinian issues. Since then, his stance has shifted towards Israel and against the Palestinians. Trump says the UN resolution “will make it much harder to negotiate peace,” but promises to “get it done anyway.”
“The decision taken at the UN yesterday was part of the swan song of the old world biased against Israel,” said Netanyahu. “We are entering a new era and as the President-elect Trump said yesterday, this is going to happen much quicker than people think. In this new era there is a high price for those trying to harm Israel.”