As the United States’ relationship with Israel takes a nose-dive in the last days of the Obama administration, Donald Trump is urging Israel to “stay strong.” The last week has put an exclamation mark on what has been a rough road for America and our biggest ally in the Middle East. Trump’s administration is promising to change things, but Israel is cutting ties with countries that supported last week’s UN vote to reprimand the country’s expansionist policies.
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Earlier Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry openly questioned Israel’s commitment to Palestinian statehood. In a speech that many had criticized before it had even been given, Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “the most right-wing in Israel’s history.”
“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” Kerry said.
Netanyahu, spoke just after Kerry had finished and called Kerry’s speech “as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed [at the United Nations] last week.”
“Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unrelenting campaign of terror that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish State,” he said. “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.”
The resolution he’s referring to is the one passed by the United Nations last week. It chastises Israel for expanding settlements in occupied territories. Rumors about the United States’ role in drafting the resolution abound. Critics claim the Obama administraiton not only had a hand in drafting the resolution, but also lobbied member countries for support.
“We have it on absolutely incontestable evidence the U.S. organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the Security Council,” Netanyahu announced Wednesday.
Trump jumped in on Israel’s side, even before Kerry spoke.
“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!” Netanyahu responded.
“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with the American Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike – to mitigate the damage this resolution has done and ultimately repeal it,” he said.
After the twitter banter had died down, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon weighed in with a much more substantive analysis of the current situation.
“To coordinate anti-Israeli initiatives with the Palestinians at the U.N. and to advance a one-sided resolution against Israel in the Security Council is the opposite of supporting Israel,” Danon wrote. “The Obama Administration acted against Israel at the U.N. and any claim to the contrary is a distortion of reality.”