No Veto: UN Security Council Adopts Anti-settlement Resolution; U.S. Abstains

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Netanyahu: U.S. carried out underhanded, anti-Israel maneuver

In his first public reaction to the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Obama administration has carried out an underhanded and an anti-Israel maneuver at the UN Security Council.

Netanyahu making his first public comments after the UN Security Council adopted an anti-Israel resolution, December 24, 2016.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Netanyahu called the resolution "crazy" and assured the Israeli public that it would be overcome. Israel's relations with the United Nations, he said, would be reviewed, and as a first step, Israeli funding for UN institutions that he said were particularly hostile would be halted immediately.

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Israeli government attacks Obama: U.S. administration shows its true face

The Israeli government is continuing its personal attacks on U.S. President Barack Obama for not exercising an American veto on the UN Security Council.

A senior Israeli official said Saturday the American conduct at the United Nations "revealed the true face of the Obama administration," adding that "now we can understand what we have been dealing with for the past eight years."

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Understanding the UN resolution on Israeli settlements: What are the immediate ramifications?

Analysis: The Security Council resolution will not have any practical repercussions on Israel in the short term. It does not include any coercive mechanisms or sanctions on those who do not implement it, other than the quarterly reports by the UN Secretary General to the council on the status of building in the settlements.

The resolution was passed under Section 6 of the UN Charter, which means that it is non-binding and constitutes a public declaration of purpose and a recommendation only. It is a diplomatic message to Israel that encapsulates the international consensus regarding settlements.

For the resolution to be binding and to enable enforcement or the imposition of sanctions, by the international community, it would need to be passed under Section 7 of the UN Charter. (Barak Ravid)

>>Your guide to understanding the resolution 

UN chief 'welcomes' Security Council resolution on settlements

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement he "welcomes" the resolution.

"The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council's much needed leadership and the international communitys collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable."

Abbas spokesman: UN resolution 'a big blow to Israeli policy'

The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council a blow to Israeli policy, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman says following the vote.

"The Security Council resolution is a big blow to Israeli policy, a unanimous international condemnation of settlements and a strong support for the two-state solution," spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said in a statement.

Israeli envoy: Security Council condemned Jewish people for building homes in Jewish state

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon accused the council after the vote of "condemning the state of Israel."

"You voted to condemn the Jewish people for building homes in the Jewish state," he said. "To prevent them from building homes in Jerusalem, the heart and soul of the Jewish people."

"Who gave you the right to deny our eternal right to Jerusalem," he said. "Would you ban the French from building in Paris?"

Invoking the Bible, he said the religious text holds "3000 years of history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel."

"No one can change the history," he said. 

Egypt's UN envoy: You can't doubt our position on Palestinian rights

Speaking after the vote, the Egyptian ambassador to the UN defended his government's decision to withdraw the draft resolution it had submitted to the Security Council only two days earlier.

He noted that Egypt withdrew the resolution for procedural reasons, against the backdrop of the pressure being exerted on it. He also slammed the ultimatum posed by New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela, saying that it was unacceptable.

"You cannot cast doubt on Egypt's position regarding Palestinian rights. Egypt voted in favor of this resolution, based on a principled position on the Palestinian issue, one that cannot be doubted. We were the first to bear arms to defend Arab rights and the first to make peace with Israel, because we believe in peace," he said. 

AIPAC 'deeply disturbed' by U.S. abstention of anti-Settlement resolution

AIPAC responeded to the UN vote, saying it is "deeply disturbed by the failure of the Obama Administration to exercise its veto to prevent a destructive, one-sided, anti-Israel resolution from being enacted by the United Nations Security Council."

"AIPAC expresses its appreciation to President-elect Trump and the many Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who urged a veto of this resolution," the statement said.

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Samantha Power: UNSC reaffirmed consensus that settlements have no legal validity

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said following the vote that "Today the Security Council reaffirmed its established consensus that the settlements have no legal validity."

She noted Barak Obama has been the only U.S. president since 1967 during whose tenure a UN Security Council resolution on settlements hasn't been passed.

Samantha Power at the UN tonight

"The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades," she said.

"One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two state solution that would end the conflict. One had to make a choice between settlements and separation."

Power said that the U.S. didnt veto the resolution because it reflects facts on the ground and is consistent with U.S. policy. 

She said that the U.S. didn't vote in favor because the resolution is too narrowly focused on settlements. Even if every single settlement is dismantled, peace won't be achieve without both sides' cooperation, she said.

"We wouldnt have let it pass had it not addressed counterproductive actions by the Palestinians ," she said.

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Senator Chuck Schumer to Obama: U.S. must veto resolution

The United States is considering not vetoing the UN Security Council vote on the Israeli settlements and abstaining from it, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer implied in a statement he published, in which he detailed a conversation he had with White House officials.

I have spoken directly to the Administration as recently as this morning, and in the strongest terms possible urged them to veto this resolution," Schumer's statement said. "An abstention is not good enough. The Administration must veto this resolution."

U.S. Jewish groups urge Obama to veto settlement motion

Jewish American groups urge Obama to veto the UN Security Council resolution on the Israeli settlements.

Labeling the motion "a one-sided, anti-Israel resolution," AIPAC said in a statement that "the UN is not the proper venue for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict The United States must continue to oppose these harmful efforts at the U.N. and exercise its veto."

The Conference of Presidents also issued a statement, calling on Obama to "immediately announce that the United States will veto the resolution."

"This resolution is unacceptable on many grounds including that it is another end-run by Chairman Abbas to avoid the responsibilities inherent in direct and meaningful negotiations," the statement said. "There is no positive outcome from the passage of this resolution."

Obama administration rejects Israeli accusations: U.S. not involved in resolution

UN Security Council to vote on resolution against Israeli settlements on FridayU.S. officials rejected the Israeli accusations that the Obama administration was behind the Security Council resolution, saying that the U.S. was not involved in formulating the initiative or in promoting it. 

The administration was not involved in the formulation of the resolution or in advancing it, the American officials said. We have not communicated to any UN Security Council members how the United States would vote if the resolution comes before the UN Security Council.

They stressed that the draft resolution was an Egyptian initiative from the start and the Egyptians were the ones who authored it, circulated it, and submitted it for a vote on Wednesday evening before asking for a delay and subsequently removing their sponsorship. A group of other Security Council members, not including the United States, is now moving forward the Egyptian text, the officials said.  

Israeli officials: Obama is abandoning Israel

Against the background of the decision to hold a vote on Friday and the assessment in Israel that the United States will allow the resolution to pass, rather than casting its veto, senior Israeli officials attacked U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Obama and Kerry are behind this shameful move in the United Nations, the officials said.

Obama could announce at any time that he intends casting a veto on the resolution, but instead hes pushing it, the officials added. He is abandoning Israel and breaking a policy of decades to defend Israel in the UN.

The senior official added that Obama and Kerry were carrying out the move in the UN in cahoots with the Palestinians. Obama, he said wants to impose a policy on President-elect Donald Trump, because he knows that Trump intends changing the policy of the U.S. on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, particularly as regards settlement.

Obama is attempting to get a decision passed by the UN, despite knowing that it does not represent the policy of the next president, the official said.

Israel's UN envoy calls on U.S. to veto Security Council resolution on settlements

Taking to Twitter on Friday, Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon called the resolution "a Palestinian initiative which is intended to harm Israel," and called on the U.S. "to stand by" Israel.

"We call on the U.S. to stand by us and we expect our greatest ally to continue with its long-standing policy and to veto this resolution," he said. 

UN Security Council to vote on resolution against Israeli settlements

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on Friday on a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.

The vote is to take place at 2 P.M. EST (9 P.M. Israel time). 

The decision was made following a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York between the envoys of New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal. The four states were signed on the resolution that Egypt had submitted before ultimately asking to postpone the vote on Thursday due to Israeli pressure.

The four states told Egypt on Thursday that if it did not clarify whether it planned to call a vote on the draft  resolution, then they reserved the right to move ahead with the vote

The anti-settlement resolution's main clauses

The resolution that is up to a vote at the UN Security Council tonight:

■ "Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution."

■ "Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem."

■Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-state solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-state solution."

■ "Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations."

■ "Calls upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967."

■ "Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism; and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric."

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