UN Security Council passes anti-settlement resolution as US abstains


The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution against Israeli settlements.


All but one member of the 15-member council voted in favour of the resolution and the US abstained.


Jewish groups around the world reacted with varying degrees of disappointment.


Aipac said it was  "deeply disturbed by the failure of the Obama administration to exercise its veto to prevent a destructive, one-sided, anti-Israel resolution from being enacted by the United Nations Security Council."


President-elect Donald Trump urged a US veto of the resolution.


World Jewish Congress President Ronald S Lauder said on Friday: “This is a dismaying decision by the Security Council which does nothing to enhance the role of the United Nations in resolving the Middle East conflict, and once again singles out Israel for condemnation," Lauder declared. "It is shocking that 14 of the 15 members of this council voted in favor of the resolution."


“It is also disconcerting and unfortunate that the United States, Israel’s greatest ally, chose to abstain rather than veto this counterproductive text. It has long been US policy that peace in the Middle East must be negotiated directly between the parties, not imposed by any outside international or other body. This is in keeping with UN resolutions that mandate direct negotiations.”


Unlike General Assembly resolutions, which are not binding, the UNSC generally creates lasting pillars of international law.


The Israeli government is concerned that the US under President Obama could also abstain from a UN Security Council resolution that imposes a peace settlement which does not meet the Jewish state’s security needs.


US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said following the vote that "Today the Security Council reaffirmed its established consensus that the settlements have no legal validity.


"The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades," she said.


"One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two state solution that would end the conflict. One had to make a choice between settlements and separation."




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