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Israel’s Netanyahu lashes out at Obama over UN vote

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at President Barack Obama on Saturday, Dec. 24, accusing him of a “shameful ambush” at the United Nations over West Bank settlements and saying he is looking forward to working with his “friend” President-elect Donald Trump. Netanyahu’s comments came a day after the United States broke with past practice and allowed the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation” of international law.

JERUSALEM >> Israel’s prime minister lashed out at President Barack Obama on Saturday, accusing him of a “shameful ambush” at the United Nations over West Bank settlements and saying he is looking forward to working with his “friend” President-elect Donald Trump.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments came a day after the United States broke with past practice and allowed the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Although the U.S. opposes the settlements, it has traditionally used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block resolutions condemning Israel, saying that disputes between Israel and the Palestinians must be resolved through negotiations.

Welcomed by the Palestinians, the resolution, while mostly symbolic, could hinder Israel’s negotiating position in future peace talks.

Trump also condemned the U.N. vote Saturday, taking to Twitter to say it “will make it much harder to negotiate peace.” But, he added, “we will get it done anyway.”

A year ago, Trump told The Associated Press that he wanted to be “very neutral” on Israel-Palestinian issues, but his comments became much more pro-Israel as the race progressed and he took a sharp tone against the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said the U.S abstention was “in complete contrast” to U.S. commitments — including one that he said Obama made in 2011 — not to impose conditions for a final agreement on Israel at the Security Council. “The Obama administration conducted a shameful anti-Israel ambush at the U.N.,” Netanyahu said.

The U.S. and much of the international community consider Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as an obstacle to peace. Netanyahu rejects such claims, blaming the failure of peace efforts on the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel’s Jewish identity.

The decision to abstain from vote was one of the biggest American rebukes of its long-standing ally in recent memory and marked a final chapter in the icy relations between Netanyahu and Obama over the last eight years.

Netanyahu called the decision “distorted” but said Israel will overcome it.

He said he had spoken with U.S leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, who vowed to fight the move, including he said, from Israel’s “friend” in the incoming administration, the president-elect.

“The decision taken at the U.N. yesterday was part of the swan song of the old world biased against Israel,” Netanyahu said. “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,” he said.

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  • Netanyahu a brave former special ops intelligent decorated LEADER….O a failed dysfunctional racist community organizer….SHAMEFUL that he abused America’s POTUS office with this kind of despicable act.

    January 20, 2017 #MAGA will change all that!

    • No hon. Obama was able to stand up to this vicious man who has caused America so many problems. We get nothing from Israel and the slavish devotion to their interests has served us poorly. Trump will take orders from Netanyahu and bow low when told to. Even Jews are amazed at how slavish he is to another country. Netanyahu does not speak for anyone but his own far right, dangerous, violent party. For 50 years both Republicans and Democratic Presidents have called for a just two-state solution. Trump wants to endanger America and Israel by putting an end to the relative peace that israel enjoys now. Look for Trump to cause massive violence which will serve America poorly.

  • The Jewish settlements on occupied Arab land have been a true obstacle to peace and a two country solution. The overwhelming vote at the UN shows that the world wants a settlement that has dragged on for over fifty years. A growing number of countries will no longer import products from Israel such as Jaffa oranges, etc. hoping to make some dent in Israel thinking.
    Although only symbolic, this should have been done years ago. Many Arab states are against the US because of our one-sided support of Israel. For example, we give them over three billion dollars per year and get nothing in return. It’s time for a change like we did with Cuba. It’s only a matter of time before we can vacation in Cuba which is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. More freedoms are happening there each day.

    • I agree. There’s needs to be change in Israel before their are ready to negotiate with the Palestinians. There’s been slow ethnic cleansing of Palestinians going on in Israel for decades. These settlements are the instrument of that evil.

      • I think it’s more complex.

        There are several justifications given for the settlements, both historical and legal, but I think the most compelling is security.

        The West Bank is a big bulge in the middle of Israel, almost cutting it in half.
        If it became an independent country, it is my impression that all indications are that it would become an existential threat to Israel.
        I think that there is no credible evidence that it would be some kind of peaceful neighbor.
        Israel would have 3 terrorist havens on its borders instead of only 2.
        And this one could be almost impossible to defend against.

        So the answer? Keep it neutralized with settlements.

        I think the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Israel remark is not accurate.
        There is a large population of Arabs in Israel that enjoy the higher standard of living there.
        I read that this goes back to the early days before the wars launched to destroy Israel, when Arabs had moved to Jewish areas because they were more prosperous.

  • Israel is not interested in peace, at least not the current conservative administration. The UN views the settlements as occupied palestinian territory, the Israeli’s view Jerusalem, the west bank and gaza as the promised land and believe it originally belonged to them. Neither seems willing to compromise or negotiate in good faith.
    It would truly be a miracle if Trump could accomplish what no one else has been able to do for the last 2000 years.

  • What a whining, lying bully Bibi is. That’s why the world, at last including the US, has finally lost all sympathy for the government of Israel.

    This abstention in no way sets or restricts “conditions for a final (peace) agreement” — an agreement on which Israel continues to drag its feet as it has for years, while all the time building new settlements and Israeli-only roads, stealing Palestinian resources, demolishing their homes and hundreds-of-years-old olive groves.

    Is that last sentence too long for you Trumpanzees? Too. Bad. So. Sad!

    The whole world is against these illegal settlements and the ongoing grinding-down of the Palestinian people — something most accurately described as a Slowlocaust. Israel’s strategy has cost it all its previous friends worldwide. And the only thing different about this 14-0 vote is that we didn’t veto it singlehandedly this time.

    Maybe this will send a wakeup call to Bibi and his backroom boys, but I doubt it. BDS worked against South African apartheid back in the day. Time to turn the screws and force an end to Israel’s apartheid today.

    • The Jews, the most persecuted people on Earth, have lived in what is now the West Bank for centuries. The list of conquerors is long and led to a diaspora. For many Jews the West Bank area is their homeland. To force them out of their homeland into Israel would be equivalent to telling all Hawaiians they must live only on Nihau and calling any who don’t colonists. The Palestinians were screwed by their Arab neighbors in 1948. If Jewish people cannot live in the West Bank, then why allow Palestinians to live in Israel. Where, by the way, they are allowed to vote, own land and work like any other citizen.

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