Deputy FM: Anti-settlement Vote Proves UN Is a 'Rubber Stamp' for Arab Nations

Daniel Ayalon's comment comes as U.S. veto prevents settlement activity condemnation, with the other 14 Security Council members voting in its favor.

A recent attempt to condemn Israel's settlement building in the United Nations proves that the international organization serves as a mere rubber stamp for Arab nations, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon told Israel Radio on Sunday, adding that the United States proved itself to be the only country capable of promoting peace in the Middle East.

The United States, as one of the five permanent UN council members with the power to block any action by the Security Council, voted against a draft resolution condemning settlement building on Friday, thus striking it down. The other 14 Security Council members voted in its favor.

Tess Scheflan

Friday's veto was the 10th U.S. veto on a Mideast issue since 2001, and the first by the Obama administration.

Speaking with Israel Radio on Sunday, Ayalon said that the vote "proved that the United States is the only country capable of advancing the peace process and the only righteous one speaking the truth: that direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians are required."

The deputy FM also said that the "UN serves as a rubber stamp for the Arab countries and, as such, the General Assembly has an automatic majority."

"The U.S. also disagrees with the settlements, but understands the difference between a legitimate discussion and decisions that have practical significance," continued Ayalon.

Ayalon said the Palestinians should understand that they will not succeed in forcing Israel into anything and are better off renewing negotiations without any preconditions.

Following the U.S. veto of a Palestinian submitted draft resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as illegal, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said she agreed with her fellow Council members "about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity" but thinks it "unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians."

Rice said the "draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse," said Rice.