The Obama administration has sparked a revolt among Democratic senators by allowing the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel.
The United States abstained in Friday’s vote. However, under Security Council rules, the U.S. could have vetoed the resolution, which would have blocked it.
Extremely frustrating, disappointing & confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2016
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voiced his outrage and said it was “extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution.”
“Whatever one’s views are on settlements, the UN is the wrong forum to settle these issues. The UN has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of ‘Zionism is racism’ and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished,” Schumer said in a statement.
“Knowing this, past Administrations – both Democrat and Republican – have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this Administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East,” said Schumer, who is a strong supporter of Israel and who also criticized the Obama administration’s Iranian nuclear deal as a threat to Israel.
Schumer was not alone in his attack on the Obama administration.
“I urge the Obama administration to veto the United Nations resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
“I support two-party negotiations to reach agreement on any settlement issues, and this U.N. resolution is not the way to pursue peace between the Palestinian Authority and the state of Israel.”
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said he was “dismayed that the Administration departed from decades of U.S. policy by not vetoing the UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements.”
Most Democrats criticized the administration for making a massive policy change.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Vt., was among them.
“Consistent with past policy, this administration must now veto this most recent misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process,” he said.
The administration’s handling of the “flagrantly one-sided resolution is unconscionable,” he added.
Criticism of the administration’s action has crossed party lines.
“I think this was a last insult on the way out the door,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. “I don’t think it makes the president look very well,” he said.
Speaking Tuesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Cole said the action was a mistake.
“… to do something that you know is deliberately at odds with what the incoming president is going to do on a stage this big, I think shows a certain pettiness that I’m surprised to see in President Obama, who usually rises above these sorts of things,” he said.
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