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Reactions to US Abandoning Israel at UH Security Council Vote on Settlements

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's Reacts to US Vote at the UN Security Council

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister.

"Israel categorically rejects the despicable anti-Israeli resolution at the UN, and will not adhere to it.

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 Obama administration not only failed to defend Israel from this harassment at the UN, it cooperated with it behind the scenes."

JCRC New York Decries US Failure to Veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) is profoundly distressed by the failure of the United States to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which further isolates and delegitimizes Israel within the international community. While the resolution assigns the brunt of the blame upon Israel due to construction beyond the 1967 armistice lines, it utterly fails to underscore decades of Palestinian rejections of Jewish statehood, and a historical Jewish rootedness in the land, as the basis of the entire conflict. Indeed, the Jewish festival of Hanukkah which is being celebrated revolves around events two millennia ago on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This unconscionable resolution devoid of any morality amounts to a shamefully biased indictment of Israel.

Successive American administrations have recognized that peace can only be obtained through direct negotiations between the parties. This resolution empowers Palestinian leaders to distance themselves from final status negotiations with Israel. It sets back the creation of conditions necessary for the peace it claims to support. It also strengthens those who wish to harm Israel through the BDS movement, which the United States government has publicly opposed.

It is well-known that Palestinian leaders have rejected several Israeli offers for a peaceful two-state solution, which would have long ago established the State of Palestine. Instead, they have consistently avoided good faith negotiations and chosen to unilaterally seek an eventual declaration of statehood through the United Nations. At the same time, incitement to terror attacks against Israeli civilians clearly demonstrates a preference by Palestinian leadership to eliminate the Jewish state rather than establish their own.

It is long past due for the United Nations - and the United States - to pressure Palestinian leaders to negotiate with Israel to achieve a lasting resolution to the conflict. Until that time, such resolutions at the Security Council, the General Assembly, or any other United Nations body are nothing more than impediments to peace.

Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon's Response

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, responded harshly to the American decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution: "Neither the Security Council nor UNESCO can sever the tie between the people of Israel and the land of Israel."

Danon added: "It was to be expected that Israel's greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN's relationship with Israel."

Israeli-American Council Statement Following US Abstention in Vote on Anti-Israel Resolution in the UN Security Council

The Israeli-American Council is troubled and deeply disappointed by the U.S. President's decision to abstain from voting on an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council today.

For many years, America has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel as it has faced shameful discrimination and bias at the UN. Today we saw a disturbing break of this precedent.

Bipartisan majorities in the U.S. Congress had urged the Administration to exercise America's veto of this kind of one-sided resolution, which is a direct attack on Israel's legitimacy.

Although this is an unfortunate day in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship, the extraordinary friendship between our two countries - built on common values and shared interests - will endure.

The IAC will continue our work to strengthen the extraordinary bonds between the peoples of the United States and Israel.

White House Explanation of its Vote to Abstain on Anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution

First of all, President Obama, of course, communicated his decision for the United States to take this action after several rounds of discussions with Ambassador Rice, Ambassador Power, Secretary Kerry, and members of his national security team. We have been following the development by different parties of a variety of resolutions at the United Nations, as we often do, over the course of the year. And this, of course, is the one that emerged in recent days and was put forward by the Egyptians yesterday, and counted the votes today.

I'd just make a number of comments at the top. First of all, this is consistent with longstanding bipartisan U.S. policy as it relates to settlements, as it relates to our opposition to Israeli settlements, as it relates to our opposition to, and condemnation of, incitement and violence and terrorism, and, above all, about our affirmative support for a two-state solution.

And one of our grave concerns is that the continued pace of settlement activity -- which has accelerated in recent years, which has accelerated significantly since 2011, when we vetoed the U.N. Security Council resolution that condemns settlements -- puts at risk the two-state solution, as does any continued incitement to violence. And we've been very concerned that these accelerating trends are putting the very viability of a two-state solution at risk. And in that context, we therefore thought that we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution.

The second thing I would say is that it is -- again, not only has it been the consistent policy under bipartisan U.S. administrations to oppose settlement activity, it has also been consistently the case that U.S. administrations have addressed the Israeli-Palestinian issue, or the broader Arab-Israeli issue, through the U.N. Security Council. In fact, President Obama was, until this resolution, the first President in decades to not have such a resolution go forward during his time in office.

The third thing that I would say just by way of opening is that we, as Samantha Power said, do have concerns about the U.N. as a venue for addressing aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is why, for instance, we have consistently resisted efforts to impose a solution to the conflict through the United Nations, through the drawing of borders, or the recognition of a Palestinian state. What this resolution does, again, is condemn the settlement activity as well as incitement and violence, which are steps that we believe are consistent with having a basis in the future for there to be a return to the negotiating table in pursuit of a two-state solution.

But let's be clear here: We exhausted every effort to pursue a two-state solution through negotiations, through direct discussions, through proximity discussions, through confidence-building measures, through a lengthy and exhaustive effort undertaken by Secretary Kerry earlier in the President's second term. We gave every effort that we could to supporting the parties coming to the table.

So within the absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as in the face of accelerated settlement activity that put at risk the viability of a two-state solution, that we took the decision that we did today to abstain on this resolution.

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