Who gave this land to Israel? The U.S.? The UN? The Security Council?
Not to mention - have any of these people read Genesis 12:3?
In a speech to the Security Council explaining why the US had changed its longstanding policy Friday and abstained in a vote demanding a halt to all Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — thus enabling the motion to pass — US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power signaled another significant shift by saying America recognized the Security Council’s consensus that “settlements have no legal validity.”
The US did not agree with every word of the resolution, Power said, and therefore had not voted in favor. But, she stressed, “we cannot stand in the way of this resolution” in the quest for “two states living side by side in peace and security.”
“The settlement problem has gotten so much worse,” she said, that it was now endangering that solution.
Israeli officials on Friday reacted with disappointment and anger at Washington’s failure to veto an anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Channel 2 News that the US abstention was “not how friends behave” while cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said the US vote also “spits in the face” of incoming president Donald Trump.
Likud Knesset member Yoav Kisch was quoted by Hebrew language website Ynet as saying that just as US President Barack Obama “betrayed other allies around the world, so he has done to Israel.”
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that “neither the Security Council nor UNESCO will succeed in rewriting history and disconnecting the bond between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel,” referring to UNESCO resolutions earlier this year that ignored Judaism’s connection with the Temple Mount, the Jewish religion’s holiest site.
Danon slammed the US abstention during the vote — an unprecedented move from Israel’s closest ally that has historically vetoed such resolutions.
He added: “The Palestinian efforts to hurt Israel through the UN will not be fruitful and will not advance any solution. The Palestinian will gain nothing until they stop incitement and terrorism and return to direct negotiations with Israel.”
“This is an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN and undermines the prospects of working with the next administration of advancing peace,” the official added.
Major US Jewish organizations declared that US President Barack Obama had undermined his legacy on Israel and bitterly criticized the administration’s decision to allow a resolution calling for a halt to all Israeli settlement activity to pass in the United Nations Security Council.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which had tussled in recent weeks with President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, offered a full-throated condemnation of the Security Council resolution and of the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from voting.
ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt stated that the organization was “outraged over the US failure to veto this biased and unconstructive UNSC resolution on Israel.”
Greenblatt bemoaned that the resolution “will only encourage further Palestinian intransigence vis-à-vis direct negotiations with Israel in favor of unilateral, one-sided initiatives.”
“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,” Greenblatt concluded. “It is deeply troubling that this biased resolution appears to be the final word of the Administration on this issue.”
“By allowing this resolution to pass in the waning weeks of his Administration, President Obama has undermined his legacy in that regard,” the organization added, describing the US action as “an unprecedented and deeply disturbing break from the past.”
The American Jewish Committee’s CEO David Harris also noted that “the Administration’s decision, for the first time in eight years, not to block an anti-Israel measure at the UN Security Council is profoundly disturbing.”
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Friday condemned the UN Security Council for voting through a resolution demanding a halt to all settlement activity, branding the motion “an evil decree” that would merely provide further excuses for the Palestinians to continue to reject Israel’s right to exist.
Speaking after the Council voted 14-0 in favor of Resolution 2334, which brands settlements illegal, Danny Danon told the packed chamber that this was a “dark day for this council.” The UN body wasted its time, in a “peak of hypocrisy,” to condemn Israel “for building homes in the historic homeland of the Jewish people” even as thousands were being massacred in neighboring Syria, he said.
Israel, said Danon, had implored the council “not to believe the lies in this resolution.” By approving it, “you have in fact voted no to negotiations, you have voted no to progress and a chance for better lives for Israelis and Palestinians, and you have voted no to the possibility of peace.”
Danon called the resolution the latest in “the long and shameful list of anti-Israel UN resolutions” and said it would encourage Palestinian incitement. “Today’s vote will be a victory for terror,” he said, “a victory for hatred and violence.”
Expressing hope that the UN would “turn a new page” under its next secretary-general, Danon castigated the Security Council for a resolution that he said denied Israel the right to build in its own capital. What right did its members have, he asked, to try to prevent the Jewish people from building homes in their own land?
“We will overcome this evil decree,” he vowed, holding up a Bible and citing thousands of years of Jewish history in the Holy Land. “We have full confidence in the justice of our cause… We will continue to be a Jewish state proudly reclaiming the land of our forefathers… where King David ruled from Jerusalem.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at US President Barack Obama Friday, accusing him of actively working against Israel at the UN — seemingly abandoning all pretense of diplomatic cautiousness after a US abstention at the Security Council led to the passage of a resolution against settlements.
“Israel categorically rejects the despicable anti-Israeli resolution at the UN, and will not adhere to it,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a seething statement after the council voted in favor of the motion 14-0.
“While the Security Council does nothing to prevent the massacre of half a million people in Syria, it is shamefully singling out Israel — the only democracy in the Middle East,” the PMO said.
“The Obama administration not only failed to defend Israel from this harassment at the UN, it cooperated with it behind the scenes.”
In a barely-veiled final repudiation of the administration with which Netanyahu has clashed so often, his office said Israel was “looking forward to working with President-elect [Donald] Trump and with out friends in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, to undo the damage of this absurd resolution.”
Netanyahu said he would immediately call back Israel’s ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal — two sponsors of Friday evening’s resolution — for consultations. He also said a planned official visit by Senegal’s foreign minister next month would be cancelled and all Israeli aid programs in Senegal would be halted.