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Obama Vetoes UN Security Council Resolution On Israel

It’s rather ironic that I actually find myself agreeing with Bolton’s assertion that Obama’s handling of National Security issues has been; ‘hesitant, inconsistent, and just plain wrong’

As Bloomberg had reported earlier today, on Obama’s first ever veto of an UN Security Council resolution…

U.S. Vetoes Palestinian Bid at UN to Halt Israeli Settlements

…The U.S., while “rejecting in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” voted against the measure out of concern for the impact on the future of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Ambassador Susan Rice said.

The Obama administration sought until the final hours before the vote to reach agreement with Arab diplomats on a compromise statement that would have increased pressure on Israel to cease settlement construction, while stopping short of calling it illegal or demanding a moratorium.

The Palestinian Authority rejected the proposal earlier in the day and notified U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a statement from the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The U.S. was alone in opposing the measure on the 15- member council, the UN’s principal policy-making panel. It was the administration’s first veto of a UN resolution and marked the 10th time in the past 11 years that the U.S. has voted against a text considered to be critical of Israel.

“Every potential action must be measured against one overriding standard: Will it move the parties closer to negotiations and an agreement?” Rice said. “Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations.”

Al Jazeera added more flesh to the story…

The United States vetoed a UN resolution Friday that would have condemned Israeli settlements as “illegal” and called for an immediate halt to all settlement building.

All 14 other Security Council members voted in favour of the resolution.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, speaking on behalf of his country, France and Germany, condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank. “They are illegal under international law,” he said.

He added that the European Union’s three biggest nations hope that an independent state of Palestine will join the United Nations as a new member state by September 2011.

The Obama administration’s veto is certain to anger Arab countries and Palestinian supporters around the world. An abstention would have angered the Israelis, the closest US ally in the region, as well as Democratic and Republican supporters of Israel in the American Congress.

Washington says it opposes settlements in principal, but claims that the UN Security Council is not the appropriate venue for resolving the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told council members that the veto “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.

“While we agree with our fellow council members and indeed with the wider world about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians,” she said.

As I’ve asked before, what’s the problem with one more UN Resolution directed at Israel…? They’ll only ignore it like the 65 other UN resolutions…

Btw, Ms. Rice, what would be the ‘proper venue’ for the Palestinians…?


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