U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1982 stated as regards the issue of settlements, declared that Washington "will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements", This was what Samantha Power stated at the U.N security council meeting explaining the U.S. vote on Friday.
In a striking rupture with past practice, the United States allowed the U.N. Security Council on Friday to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of international law. In doing so, the outgoing Obama administration brushed aside Donald Trump's demands that the U.S. exercise its veto and provided a climax to years of icy relations with Israel's leadership.
The decision to abstain from the council's 14-0 vote is one of the biggest American rebukes of its longstanding ally in recent memory. And it could have significant ramifications for the Jewish state, potentially hindering Israel's negotiating position in future peace talks. Given the world's widespread opposition to settlements, the action will be almost impossible for anyone, including Trump, to reverse.
Nevertheless, Trump vowed via Twitter: "As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th."
The resolution said Israel's settlements in lands the Palestinians want to include in their future state have "no legal validity." It demanded a halt to such activities for the sake of "salvaging the two-state solution." Loud applause erupted in the council chamber after U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power permitted the resolution to pass.
American officials indicated they would have been prepared to let the resolution pass, despite blocking such proposals for years. Israeli officials said they were aware of such plans and turned to Trump for support. The U.S. president-elect sent a tweet urging President Barack Obama to block the U.N. effort. Also, Israeli officials then accused Obama of colluding with the Palestinians in a "shameful move" against the Jewish state. Washington denied the charge.
Most of the world is opposed to Israel's construction of Jewish settlements in lands it seized in the 1967 Mideast War. The primary holdout at the U.N. has been the United States, which sees settlements as illegitimate but has traditionally used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block such resolutions on the grounds that Israeli-Palestinian disputes should be addressed through negotiation.
Underscoring that unity, Friday's resolution was proposed by nations in four different parts of the world: Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela. It is the first resolution on settlements to pass in 36 years, Malaysia's U.N. Ambassador Ramlan Bin Ibrahim said.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered several diplomatic steps in retaliation, recalling his nation's ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultations and canceling a planned January visit to Israel by Senegal's foreign minister. He also ended Israeli aid programs to the African country. "Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. and will not abide by its terms," Netanyahu's office said in a statement, blaming Obama for failing to "protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN" and even colluding with the country's detractors. "Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution." chief Palestinian negotiation Saeb Erekat hailed the result as a "victory for the justice of the Palestinian cause." He said Trump's choice was now between "international legitimacy" or siding with "settlers and extremists." ."