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Desperate Netanyahu lectures Obama about US responsibility to veto UN resolution

Update: The UN Security Council is to vote at 2 this afternoon in New York on a resolution to condemn Israeli settlements, according to published reports. [Breaking: UNSC passes historic resolution condemning settlementsThe world is determined to get the United States to stick by its guns and allow the resolution to go through, in defiance of Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump, who scotched the resolution yesterday.

Netanyahu has issued a last-minute video appeal. The proposed resolution is “anti-Israel” and it’s “bad, bad for Israel, bad for the United States, and bad for peace.” The lecture to Obama:

Israelis deeply appreciate a great pillar of the US-Israel alliance: willingness of the US to stand up and veto anti-Israel UN resolutions. I hope the US won’t abandon this policy; I hope it will abide by the principles set by President Obama himself in his UN speech in 2011.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett is even angrier:

“I will say to everyone at the Security Council: if you raise your hand or remain silent in the vote against Israel, you’re supporting the forces of terror, you’re supporting airplanes hitting buildings in New York and trucks killing people in Berlin, terror attacks in Brussels, Orlando and Dallas.”

An unnamed Israeli official calls the resolution and the Obama administration’s anticipated stance an “abandonment.” Israel’s friends are going nuts. Senator Lindsey Graham calls it a provocation that must be dealt with “sternly and forcefully,” by cutting off UN funds.

Original post:

Israel called on Donald Trump yesterday to intervene against the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements when it learned that the Obama administration was planning not to veto the resolution. And Donald Trump then called the Egyptian president and asked him to withdraw the resolution, which he did. And you thought we had one president at a time!

Other countries are clearly enraged over Trump’s shenanigans and are determined not to lose the moment. New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal issued Egypt an ultimatum yesterday to clarify their demand to end settlement building or they reserved the right to table their own draft. Reuters, this morning, reports the four countries have co sponsored the resolution and requested a vote today:

The U.N. Security Council will vote on Friday on a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements after four council members again put forward the measure a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal, who were co-sponsors of the draft resolution, have requested the vote, which diplomats said was likely to take place at 3 p.m. (1600 EDT).

The Israeli government is telling the U.S. how to respond. Ambassador Danny Danon:

 We call on the US to stand by us and we expect our greatest ally to continue with its long-standing policy and to veto this resolution.

Sean Spicer, the future press secretary for Donald Trump, said today on CNN that not-yet-president Trump was wise to intervene yesterday on behalf of an ally, and “It worked!”

This Israel-Trump-Sisi intervention is merely the latest in a series of humiliations of the Obama administration’s stated position on settlements by the Netanyahu government. Notably, in 2010, Israel announced new settlements when Joe Biden arrived in Israel. In 2011 Netanyahu lectured Obama in the Oval Office about why Israel refused to accept the 1967 lines and had a right to territory in “Judea and Samaria.” And though Obama vowed that settlements must end seven years ago, he has been able to do nothing to stop them: the settlement growth has been greater than ever.

Israel called Trump:

[T]he Israeli official told CNN that his country also approached the Trump campaign after it felt that it had failed to persuade the Obama administration to veto the planned vote. The official said that Israel “implored the White House not to go ahead and told them that if they did, we would have no choice but to reach out to President-elect Trump.”

“We did reach out to the President-elect and are deeply appreciative that he weighed in, which was not a simple thing to do,” the official said.

Al Jazeera reports that Trump called Egypt:

Egypt agreed to postpone a vote on a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements after US President-elect Donald Trump called President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian president’s office said.

Reuters says the U.S. was planning to let the resolution go through as a “parting shot”, and Israel was steamed:

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had an acrimonious relationship with Obama, believes the Obama administration had long planned the council vote in coordination with the Palestinians, the senior Israeli official said.

Haaretz noted the Israeli “coordination” with Trump, but said the crisis isn’t over.

Pressure from the Prime Minister’s Bureau on Cairo, which proposed the resolution, requests for assistance and coordination from President-elect Donald Trump and contacts at the UN and in several world capitals caused Egypt to retract its request for a snap vote.

Nevertheless it was made clear to the participants in a meeting of the security-diplomatic cabinet last night that the crisis is ongoing and the possibility remains that a vote will still be held in the next few days.

The State Department tried to cover its embarrassment yesterday. It refused to say how the Obama administration had planned to vote on the resolution. Egypt might resubmit the resolution, said John Kirby:

the text could change now in the wake of discussions with the Arab League. So I think we all need to just – the Egyptians have pulled it back. They’ve asked for a postponement. They’re having discussions with their Arab League partners. We need to let that process work its way through. If there’s changes to the text, obviously we’ll take a look at that. But I really don’t want to get ahead of any votes one way or the other, and that’s – if, in fact, this comes back for a vote.

Kirby had referred to the settlements as illegal last week. He corrected himself yesterday:

I had – I – in an interview the other day I misspoke. I referred to them as illegal and I put out a tweet clarifying it shortly after; our position is that they’re illegitimate.

Here’s a no-Palestinian/all-Jewish-Zionist panel last night on CNN, a putatively liberal US network, in which Alan Dershowitz says, “Donald Trump did exactly the right thing.” Hillary Clinton would have intervened similarly, he says. “This president is acting undemocratically…. This is a parting shot by a frustrated president who thinks more of his legacy….”

Peter Beinart defends the resolution, saying Reagan and Bush 2 both acted at the last minute on UN resolutions to the frustration of Israelis (Osirak bombing condemnation; Condoleezza Rice’s abstention on a Gaza war ceasefire resolution— president-elect Obama was surely for that). Beinart also points out that Palestinians don’t have the right to vote over the government that controls their lives.

When Beinart said that the UN also singled out South Africa with resolutions during apartheid days, Dershowitz said, “You’re equating Israel to apartheid South Africa.” “No I’m not,” Beinart said. CNN should put on the people who would say, Yes it is apartheid.

Thanks to Dan Swanson and Scott Roth. 

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss

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17 Responses

  1. Henry Norr on December 23, 2016, 10:34 am

    Latest (Friday morning):

    The UN Security Council is expected to vote later Friday on demanding Israel halt settlements after four countries agreed to present a draft resolution that was withdrawn by Egypt, diplomats said.

    New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela stepped in after Egypt, under pressure from US President-elect Donald Trump, decided not to move forward with its push for a vote at the council, diplomats said.

  2. AddictionMyth on December 23, 2016, 10:50 am

    It will be absolutely fascinating to see how Nikki Haley handles these issues – assuming she’s not replaced before she even starts. I have a feeling that everyone will soon realize they got cucked. Also I see this as a win for Obama. At least, he was not ‘humiliated’. If it seems like a win for Trump – you will soon be disabused of that notion.

  3. eljay on December 23, 2016, 11:13 am

    Israel continues to illegally occupy and colonize Palestine. A resolution is proposed which will rightly condemn Israel’s on-going occupation and colonization of non-Israeli territory.

    The “Jewish State” defends its blatantly criminal behaviour.

    The U.S. under the administration of Barry “Nobel Peace Price” O. hasn’t got the balls to condemn Israel’s crimes.

    President-elect Donald “Neutral on I-P” Trump intervenes on behalf of the “Jewish State”.

    And Alan Dershowitz farts out of his mouth. Again.

  4. annie on December 23, 2016, 11:37 am

    as long as i’ve been at this stuff (decades less than other people) i still get SO EXCITED by ideas like this vote passing. we are only a few hours away (3 hrs and 23 minutes!) and i am quite sure every member of the security council is being squeezed right now, the possibilities are endless! egypt cannot veto of course, only permanent members can (will teresa may veto??) and it needs 9 members it vote yes. but if it passed it would be HISTORIC.

    • Rusty Pipes on December 23, 2016, 12:31 pm

      No doubt, you’ve seen Abunimah’s objections to this resolution at EI. Unsurprisingly, he objects that it locks Palestine and Israel into a 2SS. Other weaknesses he notes are its declaring post 2001 settlements illegal (thereby giving Israel a chance to stake a claim on pre-2001 settlements). He also notes that there are no teeth visible in this resolution:

      Since there are already plenty of resolutions on the books which use almost identical – and often stronger – language why is a new resolution needed?

      All that is needed is for action to enforce existing resolutions – such as sanctions on Israel.

      But this resolution, like its predecessors, takes no action. In a masterful example of empty diplomatic phrasing, the draft only commits the Security Council “to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions.”

      This leisurely “examination” has been going on for half a century now while Israel continues to violently steal and colonize Palestinian land.

    • zaid on December 23, 2016, 1:35 pm

      I wasnot sure it will happen until i read this

  5. Atlantaiconoclast on December 23, 2016, 12:18 pm

    I have zero sympathy for the fraud that is Obama. This fool has had 8 years to pressure Israel to stop settlement expansion. He has never even tried.

    He will go down in history as the biggest cruel hoax of all time.

    And we already have plenty of UN Resolutions on this issue. Nothing will change till the American people decide Israel is not our friend.

    • echinococcus on December 23, 2016, 1:54 pm

      Nothing will change till the American people decide Israel is not our friend.

      Exactly. Which, as everyone knows, is done by keeping among tribals and liberals and ignoring people of other sensitivities in the American public.

      • Sibiriak on December 23, 2016, 6:09 pm


        Pew Research, May 2016

        The partisan gap remains wide. Three-quarters of Republicans (75%) say they sympathize more with Israel (just 7% say they sympathize more with the Palestinians). And though a larger share of Democrats sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians, that margin is much narrower (43% vs. 29%). By 52% to 19%, independents express more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians.

        The kind of outreach effort towards conservatives/Republicans/independents you are engaged in is critical and much appreciated. It’s a long row to hoe, and there is no time to waste.

  6. Atlantaiconoclast on December 23, 2016, 12:20 pm

    Two hardcore Zionists and one lukewarm Zionist are brought onto CNN to discuss Israel. Not surprising. I would be impressed if they had just put ONE real Jewish anti Zionist on the panel to debate these two racist Jews.

  7. Kay24 on December 23, 2016, 12:31 pm

    It is time the members of the UN righted this wrong, and condemned Israel’s endless greed for illegal settlements that goes against international laws. Netanyahu is a filthy human being, who has disrespected the President of the US, despite the fact that Obama has increased aid for those ingrates and given them ammunition to kill unarmed civilians. He has bypassed the President and appealed to the man who has arrogantly assumed the role of President before taking oath. Obama has once again got kicked in the teeth by the leader of the zionists. If Obama does not veto this now, the Palestinians will never, ever, get the freedom and statehood during our lifetime.

  8. Lagoon3 on December 23, 2016, 1:09 pm

    The United Nations would want us to believe it is an assembly of 193 independent nations – coming together to deal with the world’s most entrenched problems.

    As this latest UNSC fiasco so clearly illustrates, the UN is a place where back-room deals, bloc voting, arm-twisting, and blackmail are accepted business processes. The adventures of Netanyahu, Trump, Obama, al Sisi, the New Zealanders, Venezuela, and others show us how the game is really played.

    The voting process that takes place in front of the cameras is cosmetic theater. The significant deals that actually delivered the votes are hidden from view.

  9. Trygve on December 23, 2016, 3:03 pm

    Obama abstained.

  10. HarryLaw on December 23, 2016, 4:04 pm

    “he has been able to do nothing to stop them” Correction, he has preferred to do nothing, for political expediency sake. Then Dershowitz said, “You’re equating Israel to apartheid South Africa.” “No I’m not,” Beinart said”. Beinart was quite right not to equate Israel with South Africa, Ronnie Kasrils former South African Minister said Israel is far worse than South Africa ever was [he should know]. Trump was way out of order here. Obama may be an empty suit, but he is still the man who should call the shots.

  11. Ossinev on December 23, 2016, 4:04 pm

    At time of posting the UN resolution had already been passed but always interesting to watch and listen to the revolting squirming Dershowitz doing his OJ Simpson defense routine antics. The other speaker was a new one for me but equally hilarious – he strikes may as being a long time resident of Planet Zion. Desperate Dersh is fouling his pants over what position to take in all of this now that HRC is history and OMG he has morphed into a Trumpette being in awe of the Pres Elect`s awesome intellect and political judgement.

    Beinart himself must be exhausted from his middle ground efforts to point out the blindingly obvious to people of this calibre and retain some semblance of support for the cult colony he claims to “love”. He is still to be admired by comparison though because he tries to present the facts as opposed to the Hasbaritic puke which emanates from his fellow panelists.

    Interesting times ahead not least for those attempting to demonise BDS as a result of this resolution. Project Zion has for the first time been kicked in the nether regions by its sugar daddy as opposed to having its nether regions criticised as smelly. IMHO no great change in the eventual outcome = continuation apace with the settlement project , collapse of PA , overt Apartheid state and eventually and after lots of the rodents have jumped ship a one state full citizenship rights for all state in Palestine.

  12. Keith on December 23, 2016, 7:35 pm

    “The proposed resolution is “anti-Israel” and it’s “bad, bad for Israel, bad for the United States, and bad for peace.”

    This whole Israeli reaction is mostly staged to give the impression that this resolution is somehow actually significant. This is akin to the staged farce when the Israeli army removed the “settlers” from Gaza. Pure theater.

  13. Vera Gottlieb on December 24, 2016, 9:01 am

    This Netan-yahoo is worse than a nightmare.

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