The United Nations Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution Friday — with the United States abstaining from the vote — that condemned the nation of Israel for its “illegal” settlements in the predominantly Palestinian West Bank region and essentially demanded that Israel withdraw from any territory beyond its pre-1967 borders.
As could be expected, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was infuriated by the resolution as well as by the lack of support from President Barack Obama’s administration, and he wasn’t afraid to make his thoughts on the matter perfectly clear Christmas evening while in East Jerusalem at the Western Wall, an area now considered an “illegal settlement” by the U.N. despite it having numerous Jewish holy sites.
According to Breitbart, Netanyahu made it a point to visit the Western Wall on Christmas and take part in lighting the menorah as part of the celebration of the second night of Hanukkah.
Netanyahu explained his defiant visit to the now-controversial site supposedly “off-limits” in a statement later released by the prime minister’s office.
“I did not plan to be here this evening, but in light of the U.N. resolution I thought that there was no better place to light the second Hanukkah candle than the Western Wall,” Netanyahu said.
“According to the U.N. resolution, the Maccabees did not liberate Jerusalem, they occupied Palestinian territory,” he explained. “According to the U.N. resolution, the villages that they started out from in the Modi’in area, those villages and that area were ‘occupied Palestinian territory.’”
“Of course the Palestinians arrived much later. We were in these places. We will return to these places and I ask those same countries that wish us a Happy Hanukkah how they could vote for a U.N. resolution which says that this place, in which we are now celebrating Hanukkah, is occupied territory,” he continued.
“The Western Wall is not occupied. The Jewish Quarter is not occupied. The other places are not occupied either,” he added. “Therefore, we do not accept, nor can we accept, this resolution. We are certain of our future just as we are certain of our past. And here I would like to light Hanukkah candles on behalf of the Glory of Israel. Happy Hanukkah.”
According to Reuters, it is virtually undisputed among Israelis that their historical capital is Jerusalem and that the Western Wall belongs to them, even when those Israelis otherwise question the settlements being built in other areas.
It is estimated that more than half a million Israelis live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and if Netanyahu has anything to say about it, they won’t be moving out anytime soon.
For now, Israel will attempt to wait patiently as the White House transition continues, hoping that Obama doesn’t have another knife ready to plunge into their backs before his term in office is through, possibly at the large Middle East peace conference scheduled to be held mid-January in Paris, just days before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
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