TEL AVIV – President-elect Donald Trump said that the UN vote demanding Israel end all settlements will make a peace agreement more difficult than ever.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2016
In a measure that marked a departure from a decades-long U.S. policy of supporting Israel at the UN, the Obama administration chose not to exercise its automatic veto rights, allowing an anti-settlement resolution to pass at the Security Council.
Trump’s sentiments echoed those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who argued that “not only does the resolution not promote peace, it pushes it further away.”
Netanyahu slammed the resolution as a “shameful blow against Israel.”
The prime minister further accused the U.S. of having a direct hand in both promoting and drafting the anti-Israel resolution.
“We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated its versions and insisted upon its passage,” he said at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.
Trump vowed that once he comes into office there would be a change to U.S. policy.
“As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th,” the president-elect tweeted.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Saturday vowed to advance legislation to cut U.S. funding to the United Nations unless it repeals the resolution.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan decried the “absolutely shameful” U.S. abstention.
“Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel,” Ryan said. “Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”
According to one Israeli official, “Trump, members of Congress and Jewish organizations” had been recruited to “prevent this move by the Obama administration.”
The U.S.’ abstention was, the official said, the “last sting of President Obama” that exposed his “true face,” and proved that “the United States acted behind the back in composing and advancing the resolution against Israel. We knew about it through Arab and international sources.”
Netanyahu on Saturday evening expressed thanks “to all of our friends in the United States, Republicans and Democrats alike” for their support.