Israel has been a hotbed of political controversy for its entire existence. As the population of the country has grown, Israel needs more space and have expanded into the West Bank. And now the United Nations has voted to condemn this expansion, and the United States abstained from voting and this failure to support our key ally is being seen as a massive betrayal.
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“It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution,” Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said. “I have no doubt that the new U.S. administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel.”
“This is absolutely shameful,” Paul Ryan said. “Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel.”
Trump has said all through his campaign that relations with Israel will be mended when he is in office, which some feel was the momentum behind this push to condemn the expansions now.
“As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” Trump tweeted.
This re-start of U.S./Israeli relations is welcome news to many.
“This UN resolution represents the Big Lie of modern anti-Semitism,” Anne Bayefsky said. She’s director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and president of Human Rights Voices. “Palestinians’ backers on the Council, New Zealand and Malaysia, made today’s slander clear, claiming Jews living peaceful, productive lives on Arab-claimed land was the ‘single biggest threat to peace” and “primary threat to a two-state solution.’
“Seven decades of violent Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state prove otherwise,” she added.
In the end, there were 14 votes in favor of the condemnation. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power abstained.
It was unclear which way the U.S. would vote. Obama’s relations with Israel haven’t been as cordial as Israel would like, and in the end the White House acknowledged that it was Obama’s decision to abstain from the vote.
The resolution is meant to formally acknowledge that expansion is “steadily eroding the two-state solution and entrenching a one-state reality.” The goal is to get Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activity in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.”