USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

U.N. Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements Is Approved; U.S. Abstains

Posted by uscsjp on December 23, 2016

UNITED NATIONS — Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a contentious resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.

The administration’s decision not to veto the measure broke a longstanding American tradition of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield.

It came a day after Mr. Trump personally intervened to keep the draft measure, proposed by Egypt, from coming up for a vote on Thursday, as scheduled. Mr. Trump’s aides said he spoke to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Both men also spoke to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt postponed the vote.

But in a show of mounting frustration, a group of other countries on the 15-member Security Council — all of them relatively powerless temporary members with rotating two-year seats — snatched the resolution away from Egypt and put it up for a vote Friday afternoon.

It passed 14 votes in favor, with the United States abstaining.

Document: U.N. Security Council Draft Resolution on the Middle East Peace Process

The departing Obama administration has been highly critical of Israel’s settlement building, describing it as an impediment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Trump has made clear that he will take a far more sympathetic approach to Israel when his administration assumes office in a month.

Mr. Trump’s comments on the issue amounted to his most direct intervention on United States foreign policy during his transition to power.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, had urged the American delegation to block the measure.

“This resolution is a Palestinian initiative, which is intended to harm Israel,” he said in a statement.

–The New York Times, 23 Dec. 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/world/middleeast/israel-settlements-un-vote.html?emc=edit_na_20161223&nlid=49989207&ref=headline&_r=0

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