Israel summons US ambassador as Netanyahu hits out at Obama


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a scathing attack Sunday on the Obama administration and summoned the US ambassador after its refusal to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank.

The United States abstained on the resolution, allowing it to pass, rather than vetoing it – as it usually does with resolutions it sees as overly critical of Israel, leading to US ambassador Daniel Shapiro being summoned, an Israeli official told CNN Sunday.
The move comes hours after 10 other ambassadors whose countries support the resolution were also called in and followed Netanyahu’s strong criticism of the Obama administration in his weekly cabinet meeting.
“From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Netanyahu, speaking in Hebrew, told ministers on Sunday.

Netanyahu also took aim at the US Secretary of State, adding in English: “As I told John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”
His office released a copy of the remarks, with translation, on his website.
US officials did not immediately respond to CNN questions about the comments, but on Friday, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes rejected similar accusations.
“President Obama’s track record on Israel’s security is clear. Anybody can review it. But, in fact, I’d take umbrage at language that suggests that this was our preferred course of action and that we initiated it,” Rhodes said.

Cut funding

Earlier Sunday, Israel summoned the ambassadors of 10 countries which voted for a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said ambassadors were called in for Israel “to express deep anger and dissatisfaction as a result the vote of countries that consider themselves friends of Israel,” ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said.
“This was not a vote in favor of peace. It was a vote against Israel.”

Ambassadors from China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Spain, Ukraine and Uruguay, were all summoned.
The five other countries which were not called included the US, which abstained, and four others which do not have permanent ambassadors in Israel.
Israel was furious at the passage of Security Council resolution 2334, which says its settlements in the West Bank “had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security.”
Israel’s moves since UN resolution
  • Cancels all aid programs to Senegal
  • Orders diplomatic steps against countries who cosponsored resolution and has diplomatic relations
  • Tells ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal to immediately return to Israel for consultations
  • Orders cancellation of visits in Israel of the non-resident ambassadors of Senegal and New Zealand
  • Re-evaluates $7m of UN funding
  • Summons 10 ambassadors of nations which backed resolution
  • Summons US ambassador later Sunday
On Friday, the US allowed the resolution to pass, defying extraordinary pressure from Netanyahu’s government.
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

President-elect Donald Trump had also embroiled himself in the diplomatic action, 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.
Speaking at his start of week cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said he shared the “feelings, anger and frustration vis-à-vis the unbalanced resolution that is very hostile to the State of Israel, and which the Security Council passed in an unworthy manner.”
He added: “We will do whatever is necessary so that Israel will not be damaged by this shameful resolution and I also tell the ministers here, we must act prudently, responsibly and calmly, in both actions and words.”