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Yet Another Mid-East Crisis

Yet Another Mid-East Crisis

I am a supporter of President Obama.  I voted for Hilary Clinton.  I am very strongly in favor of a more liberal Israel and I do not approve of President Netanyahu's program of expanding the settlements and building in East Jerusalem.  I am in favor of a two-state solution in Israel and I see the continuing expansion of the settlements as precluding a peaceful conclusion to the ongoing friction between the Palestinians and Israel.

Having said all of this though, it is difficult to understand how the UN would bring and vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, and yet do so very little with regards to the ongoing tragedy in Syria.  By the way, although Israel and Syria have been enemies since Israel's creation as a Jewish state in 1947, Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, said this week that Israel “cannot remain indifferent” and had been providing food and winter clothing to Syrian villages across the border fence as well as tending to some of the wounded.  It's also difficult for me to understand and to forgive President Obama for this vote in the United Nations.  Israel is still the only democracy in the Middle East, and it needs the continued support of the United States. 

I don't approve of most of what President-Elect Trump has done up until the present time.  I certainly am not happy with his cabinet appointments nor with his "tweets."  I also do not approve of his playing President before his time, even though I was in favor of his position on this particular issue.  The U.S. can only have one president at a time.

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The following article is from CNN ~By Stephen Collinson, David Wright and Elise Labott, CNN
Updated 2:00 AM ET, Sat December 24, 2016

~~Washington (CNN)The United States on Friday allowed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction to be adopted, defying extraordinary pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in alliance with President-elect Donald Trump.
The Security Council approved the resolution with 14 votes, with the US abstaining. There was applause in the chamber following the vote, which represented perhaps the final bitter chapter in the years of antagonism between President Barack Obama's administration and Netanyahu's government.
In an intense flurry of diplomacy that unfolded in the two days before the vote, a senior Israeli official had accused the United States of abandoning the Jewish state with its refusal to block the resolution with a veto.

Trump had also inserted himself in the diplomatic drama, in defiance of the convention that the United States has only one president at a time, by calling on the Obama administration to wield its Security Council veto.

Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, reacted angrily to the vote and issued a sharp parting shot at the Obama administration's role.

"It was to be expected that Israel's greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN's relationship with Israel," he said.

In a statement, Netanyahu's office accused the Obama administration of "colluding" with the UN and said it looked forward to working with Trump, as well as Israel-friendly members of Congress, "to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution."
The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, raised her hand to abstain in the chamber when the resolution was put to a vote.

Power argued after the vote that opposing settlement expansion was consistent with the bipartisan consensus accepted by every single US president of both parties since Ronald Reagan, in comments that could be seen as a criticism of Trump's position.

"This resolution reflects trends that will permanent destroy the two state solution if they continue on their current course," Power said in a speech before the chamber.

"Our vote today does not in any way diminish the United States' steadfast and unparalleled commitment to the security of Israel," Power said.

The Palestinians were delighted by their rare diplomatic coup.
"This is a victory for the people and for the cause, and it opens doors wide for the demand of sanctions on settlements," said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian leader.

"This is a bias towards justice and international law."
But Trump -- who has vowed to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and has nominated an ambassador in David Friedman who is supportive of settlers -- pledged that the Palestinians would no longer have a platform at the UN when he is inaugurated next month.
"As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th," Trump wrote on Twitter.
The United States and most other nations consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as an obstacle to the hopes of a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Obama administration, which mounted two failed efforts to broker Middle East peace, became increasingly angry about continued Israeli settlement expansion over its eight years in the White House. The Palestinians accuse Israel of trying to establish facts on the ground by building on land they view as part of their future state.

"Today, the United States acted with one primary objective in mind: to preserve the possibility of the two state solution, which every US administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, adding that the US does not "agree with every aspect" of the resolution.
He added: "We cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace."

 

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