US led UN ‘gang-up’ on Is­rael vote: Am­bas­sador

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

WASHINGTON: The White House or­ches­trated a “gang-up” against Is­rael on last week’s UN set­tle­ment vote, its am­bas­sador to Washington said yes­ter­day, in the lat­est sign of anger be­tween the long­time al­lies. Is­rael’s am­bas­sador Ron Der­mer said in an in­ter­view with CNN that his gov­ern­ment plans to show ev­i­dence of the alleged US ma­neu­ver­ing in due time. “What is out­ra­geous is that the United States was ac­tu­ally be­hind that gang-up. I think it was a very sad day, re­ally a shame­ful chap­ter,” the Is­raeli diplo­mat told CNN.

“We have clear ev­i­dence of it. We will present that ev­i­dence to the new ad­min­is­tra­tion through the ap­pro­pri­ate chan­nels. And if they want to share it with the US peo­ple they’re wel­come to do it,” Der­mer said, adding that the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment is “deeply dis­ap­pointed” with Washington over the UN vote. On Fri­day, the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil passed a res­o­lu­tion de­mand­ing that “Is­rael im­me­di­ately and com­pletely cease all set­tle­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in the oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing east Jerusalem.”

The United States - which has a veto - re­frained from cast­ing its vote, en­abling the adop­tion of the mea­sure, the first res­o­lu­tion since 1979 to con­demn Is­rael over its set­tle­ment pol­icy. Der­mer ac­cused the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of help­ing Pales­tini­ans “wage a diplo­matic and le­gal war against Is­rael”. They do not want to ne­go­ti­ate peace with us, which is why they’ve avoided negotiations for eight years,” he said. “What do the Pales­tini­ans want? What they want is to blame Is­rael for the lack of peace and to in­ter­na­tion­al­ize the con­flict,” Der­mer con­tin­ued. “What this res­o­lu­tion just did is it gave the Pales­tini­ans am­mu­ni­tion in their diplo­matic and le­gal war against Is­rael. And the US not only didn’t stop it, they were be­hind it.”

Obama’s soon-to-be suc­ces­sor, pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, who has cam­paigned on a prom­ise to rec­og­nize Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal, slammed the po­si­tion taken by the White House. Trump, who last week said Washington should have used its veto to block the res­o­lu­tion, has cho­sen as am­bas­sador to Is­rael the hard­liner David Fried­man, who has said Washington will not pres­sure Is­rael to cur­tail set­tle­ment build­ing in the oc­cu­pied West Bank.

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu sum­moned US Am­bas­sador Daniel Shapiro Sun­day to ex­press his dis­plea­sure. An of­fi­cial Is­raeli source con­firmed only that Ne­tanyahu and Shapiro had met, with­out elab­o­rat­ing on the con­tent or out­come of their dis­cus­sions. The text was passed with sup­port from all re­main­ing mem­bers of the 15-mem­ber coun­cil, with ap­plause break­ing out in the cham­ber.

The Haaretz daily’s web­site said that for Is­rael to sum­mon an Amer­i­can am­bas­sador was “con­sid­ered a most un­usual step”. “Even more un­usual is the fact that un­like the other en­voys who were sum­moned on Sun­day to the for­eign ministry, Ne­tanyahu will con­duct the con­ver­sa­tion him­self at his of­fice,” it said ahead of the meet­ing. - AFP

Ron Der­mer

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