- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday took a parting shot at the Obama administration for refusing to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, calling it “reckless and destructive.”

“As I told [Secretary of State] John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council,” Mr. Netanyahu said during his weekly Cabinet meeting posted on social media.

The Obama administration abstained from a Friday vote on the resolution instead of vetoing it. The resolution, which passed 14-0, condemns Israel for what it described as a “flagrant violation” of international law.

“Over decades, American administrations and Israeli governments have disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away.”

The administration’s move also came under fire from members of Congress such as Sen. Orrin Hatch.

“Once again, President Obama has jeopardized Israel’s security,” said Mr. Hatch, Utah Republican.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power insisted Friday that the administration remains committed to Israeli security, pointing to its recent $38 billion, 10-year for Israeli security assistance.

“We believe, though, that continued settlement building seriously undermines Israel’s security,” Ms. Power said before the Security Council.

Mr. Netanyahu said he was “encouraged by the statements of our friends in the United States, Republicans and Democrats alike.”

“They understand how reckless and destructive this UN resolution was. They understand that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “I look forward to working with those friends and with the new administration when it takes office next month.”

President-elect Donald Trump made it clear he disagreed with the decision to withhold the veto, saying on Twitter: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” referring to his inauguration.

“The big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!” said Mr. Trump in a Saturday tweet.


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