Democrat lawmakers and allies condemn Obama’s failure to veto anti-Israeli U.N. resolution

December 24th, 2016 • iizthatiiz

Democratic lawmakers and traditional Obama allies scorched their president for his tacit support of a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.

This occasion marks the first time that a U.S. president has allowed a vehemently anti-Israel U.N. to adopt a resolution harmful to the Jewish state.

With no more electoral consequences remaining for Barack Obama to face, yesterday’s betrayal at the United Nations revealed the full scope and depth of Obama’s eight year effort to delegitimize the State of Israel.

Support for Israel, the only Democracy in the Middle East, has always been a bi-partisan effort. Yesterday’s action by Obama was not only a betrayal of Israel and the Jewish people, but a sharp rebuke of pro-Israel policies widely embraced by his fellow Democrats.

This is a president who has gone rogue. A vain attempt to place his personal imprint upon American foreign policy with little support from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Despite widespread bi-partisan opposition prior to the U.N. vote, Obama abandoned concrete U.S. foreign policy, and placed himself among the enemies of American national interests.

For the first time, Obama has made himself truly transparent.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the outcry among Democrats horrified by Obama’s unilateral reversal of traditional American support for the State of Israel.

Schumer is positioned to become Minority Leader following Sen. Harry Reid’s retirement this coming January.   By publicly opposing Obama’s betrayal of Israel, the #1 ranking Senate Democrat opened the door for a flood of criticism from fellow party members against the action of their party’s leader.

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called the move by Obama “unconscionable.

“A two-state solution must be negotiated directly between the Israelis and Palestinians, and this resolution flies in the face of this necessity,” Blumenthal said.

He also said support for Israel must remain “bipartisan,” and that he’ll work with colleagues on “both sides of the aisle” to advance “productive measures” that strengthen the US’s relationship with Israel.

 

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), tweeted his displeasure.

 

Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden published a statement on his Senate webpage:

Wyden Slams U.N. Resolution Unfairly Targeting Israel
Friday, December 23, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today slammed a United Nations resolution that unjustly targets Israel, and expressed deep disappointment the White House chose not to veto the resolution.

“I am deeply disappointed that the administration set aside longstanding U.S. policy to allow such a one-sided resolution to pass,” Wyden said. “Actions like this will only take us further from the peace we all want to see.”

 

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) released a similar statement:

I am dismayed that the Administration departed from decades of U.S. policy by not vetoing the UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements. I continue to believe that a productive path toward peace requires direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Involvement at the UN, particularly via one-sided resolutions, is counterproductive to achieving a two-state solution.

 

From Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey:

 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voiced his opposition in statement:

Earlier this fall I joined Senate colleagues urging the Administration to uphold its position opposing one-sided resolutions at the U.N. Security Council regarding Israel. Any lasting peace must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, not imposed by the international community.

 

Democrat opposition against Obama’s betrayal of Israel from the House of Representatives was as equally vociferous.

 

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D–MD) put out a statement:

“As a proud leader of the bipartisan coalition in Congress in support of our ally Israel, I am extremely disappointed by this action and today’s vote. Blaming Israel for the continuation of the conflict is not only wrong and unjust; it will also do nothing to move the parties closer to a peaceful and lasting solution.

“This resolution ignores the culpability of Palestinian leaders and groups for engaging in violent acts, inciting violence against civilians, and delegitimizing Jews’ ancient and historic connection to the land. Furthermore, the United States’s abstention risks lending legitimacy to efforts by Palestinians to impose their own solution through international fora and trough unjustified boycotts or divestment campaigns. Only direct, bilateral negotiations can bring an end to this conflict. Neither the international community nor the United States can impose one. I join in expressing my very significant disagreement with the Administration’s decision to abstain.”

 

Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that he was “very disappointed” by the Obama administrations “acquiescence to a one-sided, biased resolution at the United Nations Security Council.”

Engel added, “I have always believed that Israel can’t get a fair shake at the UN, and that is why Israel has relied on the United States to protect it from the anti-Israel tendencies of some UN Security Council members.”

 

Congresswoman Nina Lowery (D-NY) issued the following:

Today’s abstention is a stain on the United States’ long and consistent record of defending Israel against one-sided UN Security Council resolutions. I am profoundly disappointed. Only through direct negotiations can the Israelis and Palestinians resolve their complicated differences.

Today’s resolution will not further the cause of peace. In fact it will only harden both sides and make direct negotiations all the more difficult to ever resume.  I will redouble my efforts to defend Israel in international bodies and bring the parties back to the table.

 

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee issued a statement after the anti-Israeli action by President Obama:

The UNSC resolution against Israel marks an unfortunate change in U.S. policy in support of Israel at the United Nations; we vetoed a similar resolution in 2011.

Opponents of Israel took advantage of America’s democratic transition to pass a resolution that the U.S. vetoed in 2011, and American would veto in the next Administration.

This is a sneaky maneuver to pass a one-sided resolution on Israel just before a new Administration takes office.

 

Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) took to Instagram immediately following the Obama betrayal:

This resolution passed by the UN Security Council does not take us closer to peace between Israel and the Palestinians nor does it make two states for two peoples more likely. That’s why I am disappointed that the United States did not veto it today.

 

Traditional Obama Allies Turn Against the President

Organizations traditionally supportive of President Obama also had harsh words for the presidents action.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) immediately released a statement following the vote:

AIPAC Statement on U.S. Abstention from UNSC Resolution Vote

AIPAC 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 (UNSC). In the past, this administration and past administrations have rejected this type of biased resolution since it undermines prospects for peace.

It is particularly regrettable, in his last month in office, that the president has taken an action at odds with the bipartisan consensus in Congress and America’s long history of standing with Israel at the United Nations. AIPAC expresses its appreciation to President-elect Trump and the many Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who urged a veto of this resolution.

By adopting this resolution, the United Nations has once again served as an open forum to isolate and delegitimize Israel—America’s lone stable, democratic ally in the Middle East. The Palestinian leadership has refused to return to talks with Israel and has continued to incite violence. Today’s destructive UNSC resolution only rewards this negative strategy and undermines efforts to truly pursue a lasting peace.

The best way to further the peace process with the goal of a two-state solution—which we support—would have been for the international community to do everything in its power to persuade the Palestinians to return to direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions with Israel. Unfortunately, the UNSC today irresponsibly adopted a ruinous resolution that can only make the goal of peace even more elusive.

 

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Obama’s action:

ADL Condemns U.S. Failure to Veto Biased Security Council Resolution Against Israel

New York, NY, December 23, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution that holds Israel and its settlement policy “in the West Bank and East Jerusalem” responsible for the lack of progress on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. ADL stated that it was outraged with the U.S. failure to veto this “biased and unconstructive” resolution, which only further complicates efforts to renew trust and restart peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.

The resolution, which initially had been introduced and then postponed by Egypt, was reintroduced today by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal. It effectively blames the current impasse on Israel, pointing out specific Israeli policies as responsible for “imperiling the two-State solution” while only referring to other issues, including terrorism and violence, in a generic, unspecific manner. The resolution passed with a vote of 14-0, with the U.S. abstaining.

Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

We are outraged over the U.S. failure to veto this biased and unconstructive UNSC resolution on Israel. This resolution will do little to renew peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. It will only encourage further Palestinian intransigence vis-à-vis direct negotiations with Israel in favor of unilateral, one-sided initiatives.

We know that Israeli settlement activity is of concern to the U.S. and many members of the international community and are pleased that Ambassador Samantha Power recognized the centrality of other issues obstructing the peace process, including Palestinian incitement and a complete unwillingness to engage in bilateral negotiations. However, we are incredibly disappointed that the U.S. still chose not to exercise its veto power and stop this resolution at the Security Council.

The Obama Administration repeatedly stated that a solution to the conflict cannot be imposed on the parties but must be achieved directly by the parties themselves. It is deeply troubling that this biased resolution appears to be the final word of the Administration on this issue.

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also issued a statement:

“Today’s abstention by the United States at the UN Security Council’s anti-Israel resolution will only make a negotiated peace in the Middle East much more difficult to achieve. Given the continued explosion of terrorist assaults around the world, the UN resolution should have demanded the end of Hamas’ presence as a prerequisite for a two-state solution,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean.

“We appreciate the efforts of President-elect Trump to convince President Obama to veto the resolution and look forward to his immediately moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

 



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