In just 15 days, Barack Obama leaves the White House. Before he goes he just had to send Israel one last middle finger by having the U.S. abstain from a UN vote that condemned Israeli settlements. Today, the House of Representatives voted to denounce 44 for going against one of America’s strongest allies.
From The Hill: The House passed a resolution on Thursday denouncing the Obama administration’s abstention from a critical United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements. Lawmakers of both parties supported the measure in a 342-80 vote, with four Democrats voting “present.” A majority of Democrats, 109, voted for the resolution; 76 Democrats opposed it. All but four Republicans voted for the resolution.
The Obama administration drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike last month when it declined to veto a U.N. resolution condemning Israel’s expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories as violation of international law. “This government, our government, abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an animated House floor speech. “These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They do not advance peace. They make it more elusive.”
The U.N. measure passed 14-0, with support from countries including the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia. The U.S. had the power to veto the resolution by virtue of its permanent membership in the Security Council, but opted to abstain. The Obama administration defended its break from the longstanding U.S. policy of shielding its closest Middle Eastern ally by arguing that settlements undermine any potential path to a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.