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Netanyahu Accuses Obama of Orchestrating U.N. Resolution


Netanyahu Attacks Obama over U.N. Resolution

Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply criticized President Obama’s administration, after the United Nations Security Council voted to adopt a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements on Friday, which the United States did not veto.

Photo by Pool photo by Dan Balilty. Watch in Times Video »

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel further escalated his criticism of the departing Obama administration on Sunday, publicly accusing it of having orchestrated the United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlement construction.

It was the second consecutive day of rising invective from Mr. Netanyahu over the Friday vote on the resolution, which passed, 14-0, in a strong diplomatic slap at Israel against the background of the long-stalled negotiations for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The resolution asserted that Israel’s settlement construction on territory that the Palestinians claim for their future state was a major obstacle to the peace process and a “flagrant violation under international law.”

The United States refrained from using its veto power, as it has done many times before to shield Israel from such condemnation at the United Nations.

Israeli officials had been saying that the United States helped in the planning of the vote, an accusation that Obama administration officials have denied. But on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu, whose relations with President Obama have never been warm, made that accusation publicly, and in detail.

“From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Mr. Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Referring to the American secretary of state, Mr. Netanyahu added, “As I told John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council,” and he said he was looking forward to working with the new administration of Donald J. Trump when it takes office next month.

Mr. Trump, who has said he would be far more supportive of Israel, had urged the Obama administration to veto the Security Council resolution and he joined in the Israeli anger over the American abstention.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned ambassadors of countries that voted in favor of the resolution for personal meetings with ministry officials in Jerusalem, despite the Christmas Day holiday that those countries celebrate.

An aide to Mr. Netanyahu confirmed reports that Mr. Netanyahu, who is also the foreign minister, also had summoned the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro, for a meeting. It was unclear when that meeting was taking place.

The Israeli news media also reported that Mr. Netanyahu had instructed his ministers to suspend their diplomatic activities and contacts with counterparts from the countries that voted in favor of Friday’s resolution for the next three weeks, until the administration changes. The ministers have been told not to hold any meetings, nor are they to travel to those countries.

According to the Israeli news media, the defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, had instructed Israel’s agencies to sever contacts with Palestinian Authority representatives on civil, not security matters, though the ministry did not immediately confirm the reports.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official and the Palestinians’ veteran negotiator, called on Israel “to seize the opportunity, to wake up, to stop the violence, to stop settlements, and to resume negotiations.” Mr. Netanyahu says he is ready for negotiations anytime, but with no preconditions.

Source: NYT > World

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