TEL AVIV – “Obama is history. We have Trump,” Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said on Tuesday, adding that President Barack Obama never supported Israel.
Regev also told Israel’s Channel 2 that the anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council, which the U.S. failed to veto, proved the international body was always anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.
“Who is Obama?” Regev asked rhetorically. “Obama is history. We have Trump.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, meanwhile, said that Israel will not be Obama’s “punching bag.”
“We’re not just going to be a punching bag and go quietly into the night as the Obama administration helps push such a grave resolution,” Netanyahu’s spokesman David Keyes said.
The vote, which passed 14-0, prompted Netanyahu to summon 12 ambassadors from countries that supported the resolution. He also summoned U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to explain the decision to abstain from the vote.
Regev and other Israeli officials have expressed their approval of the incoming Trump administration because Obama is widely seen here as having betrayed Israel with the resolution, which also defines the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall – Judaism’s holiest site – as “occupied Palestinian territory.”
“No organization in the world can point to a failing in the connection between the land and the Jewish people,” Regev said.
Earlier in the day Regev attended an unveiling ceremony for an ancient street dating back to King David’s Jerusalem.
“No resolution in any international forum is as strong as the steadfast stones on this street. No other people in the world has such a connection and link to its land, neither in Senegal, New Zealand, Ukraine nor Malaysia,” she said in her speech.
“Fifty years ago, we turned hope into reality: Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was once again united, and we will never agree to its being divided a second time,” Regev said, in reference to the Israel’s conquest of the Old City in the 1967 defensive war.
Regev condemned two more resolutions passed by the UN’s culture agency in October that ignored Jewish ties to Jerusalem.
“Several weeks ago UNESCO declared that there is no such link,” Regev said. “The ridiculous vote in Paris cannot cancel thousands of years of history. Today we respond to this distortion of history and say in a loud and clear voice: Jews lived in Jerusalem and will continue to live in Jerusalem. Jews built Jerusalem and will continue to build Jerusalem. Thus it was 2,000 years ago, thus it is today and thus it will remain forever.”