Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer called the Obama administration’s choice not to veto a UN Security Council vote that condemned Israeli settlements in disputed territory “outrageous,” while cozying up to Trump, Politico reports.
The official Israeli line follows authoritative logic: any criticism of its behavior is betrayal at best, and at worst an incitement for violence against its ethnocentric state. Through this lens, any response to either is justified. That’s why Netanyahu is calling New Zealand making threats, and why halting settlement construction to restart peace talks with Palestine is no longer considered (despite a temporary extremely limited “freeze” in settlement construction during the Obama administration).
Trump tweeted against the US decision, saying, “the big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!” and later, “we cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” telling Israel to “stay strong” because his reign, “is fast approaching!”
Dermer rejected the idea that it was ridiculous for Trump to undermine Obama before he takes office:
“I know a lot of the talk in the press for the first few days was how outrageous it was for a president-elect to weigh in and to breach this policy of one president at a time,” Dermer said this morning on MSNBC. “But what I actually think is outrageous for an outgoing administration in the waning days of its presidency is to radically shift U.S. policy without the knowledge or the support of the incoming administration.”
Netanyahu has claimed that he has evidence Obama and Kerry engineered the vote, which he will only share with Trump. Dermer repeated those claims, refusing to produce the evidence himself.
Politico incorrectly notes that a two-state solution is Netanyahu’s “stated goal.” Despite saying during his career that he supported one, Netanyahu said before winning a fourth-term that a Palestinian state would not happen under his watch. David Friedman, Trump’s incoming ambassador to Israel, has been a critic of the two-state solution and funds the settlement expansion movement. Dermer is unconcerned by that:
“People are choosing this story to suggest that somehow his ideology is going to drive events,” Dermer said. “I don’t set the policies of the government of Israel, and Mr. Friedman will not set the policies of the government of the United States. That will be set by the president and prime minister.”
(image via MSNBC screengrab)