Ne­tanyahu crit­i­cizes Obama over re­fusal to veto U.S. res­o­lu­tion.

Power: U.S. still com­mit­ted to Is­rael

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu on Sun­day took a part­ing shot at the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion for re­fus­ing to veto a U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing Is­raeli set­tle­ments, calling it “reck­less and de­struc­tive.”

“As I told [Sec­re­tary of State] John Kerry on Thurs­day, friends don’t take friends to the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil,” Mr. Ne­tanyahu said dur­ing his weekly Cabi­net meet­ing posted on so­cial me­dia.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ab­stained from a Fri­day vote on the res­o­lu­tion in­stead of ve­to­ing it. The res­o­lu­tion, which passed 14-0, con­demns Is­rael for what it de­scribed as a “fla­grant vi­o­la­tion” of in­ter­na­tional law.

“Over decades, Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tions and Is­raeli gov­ern­ments have dis­agreed about set­tle­ments, but we agreed that the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil was not the place to re­solve this is­sue,” Mr. Ne­tanyahu said. “We knew that go­ing there would make ne­go­ti­a­tions harder and drive peace fur­ther away.”

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s move also came un­der fire from mem­bers of Congress such as Sen. Or­rin Hatch.

“Once again, Pres­i­dent Obama has jeop­ar­dized Is­rael’s se­cu­rity,” said Mr. Hatch, Utah Repub­li­can.

U.S. Am­bas­sador to the U.N. Sa­man­tha Power in­sisted Fri­day that the ad­min­is­tra­tion re­mains com­mit­ted to Is­raeli se­cu­rity, point­ing to its re­cent $38 bil­lion, 10-year for Is­raeli se­cu­rity as­sis­tance.

“We be­lieve, though, that con­tin­ued set­tle­ment build­ing se­ri­ously un­der­mines Is­rael’s se­cu­rity,” Ms. Power said be­fore the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Mr. Ne­tanyahu said he was “en­cour­aged by the state­ments of our friends in the United States, Repub­li­cans and Democrats alike.”

“They un­der­stand how reck­less and de­struc­tive this UN res­o­lu­tion was. They un­der­stand that the Western Wall isn’t oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory,” Mr. Ne­tanyahu said. “I look for­ward to work­ing with those friends and with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion when it takes of­fice next month.”

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump made it clear he dis­agreed with the de­ci­sion to with­hold the veto, say­ing on Twit­ter: “As to the U.N., things will be dif­fer­ent af­ter Jan. 20th,” re­fer­ring to his inau­gu­ra­tion.

“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!” said Mr. Trump in a Satur­day tweet.

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