Many Americans and Israelis are outraged at President Obama for betraying the state of Israel yesterday by refusing to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and calling Israel’s settlements and continuing construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem a “flagrant violation of international law.”
By allowing this resolution to pass, Obama broke with a long tradition of the United States standing with Israel on council resolutions concerning the Israel–Palestinian conflict and
ignored a plea by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to veto the resolution.
What is the significance of this resolution for Middle East security and U.S.–Israel relations? Absolutely nothing.
The world knows this resolution was approved because a U.S. president with just a few weeks left in office chose to abandon Israel. They know this president’s positions — especially his hostility to Israel — are not shared by a majority of Americans and will be quickly reversed by President Trump.
Israelis and the American people know what a cowardly act this Security Council vote was by President Obama since it was deliberately delayed until after the presidential election to ensure Hillary Clinton and congressional Democrats would not pay a political price. The vote also took place on Friday afternoon two days before Christmas to limit negative press coverage.
President-elect Trump called on the Obama administration to veto the resolution and indicated he will ignore it when he tweeted: “Things Will Be Different After Jan. 20.” Democratic and Republican congressmen are already siding with Trump on the vote.
In an unprecedented statement, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office directly condemned the Obama administration in response to the passage of the anti-Israel resolution and expressed its eagerness to work with President Trump:
The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes. Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.
With one of the worst relationships with Israel of any U.S. president in history, and after ramming through a disastrous nuclear agreement with Iran over Israel’s strong objections, President Obama dealt a final insult to Israel today.
This is an insult that will be soon forgotten: This anti-Israel resolution will be reversed like the Iran deal, the Paris environmental agreement, Obamacare, and other radical and unpopular initiatives foisted on the American people by President Obama. Obama’s refusal to block this resolution only succeeded in reiterating his hostility to the state of Israeli and reaffirmed that his foreign policy will go down in the history books as an aberration.
— Fred Fleitz is senior vice president with the Center for Security Policy. He held national security jobs for 25 years with the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff.