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Friday, December 23, 2016

Choosing not to veto, Obama lets UN anti-settlement resolution pass

In a stunning departure from its policy over the last eight years, the Obama administration abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution Friday that demands an immediate halt to all Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, enabling the measure to pass. The resolution was approved with 14 member states voting in favor, none voting against and one abstention — the United States.

The text also calls on all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967” — language that Israel fears will lead to a surge in boycott and sanctions efforts, and that an Israeli official warned would provide “a tailwind for terror.”

Speaking at the Security Council after the vote, US Ambassador Samantha Power said the vote underlined the Council’s long-standing position that “the settlements have no legal validity.” She claimed the US position was “fully in line with the bipartisan history” of how US presidents have approached the issue for decades. (Read More)