Obama defends abstention on anti-Israel resolution in final presser

President Obama defended his decision to abstain from vetoing a UN resolution last month condemning Israeli ‘settlements,’ referring to the move as a ‘wake up call’ for Israelis and Palestinians.  

During his final press conference on Wednesday as US president, Barack Obama defended his decision to abstain from vetoing a UN Security Council resolution in December that condemned any Israeli presence in territories won by Israel from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967.

“The goal of the resolution was to simply say that the settlements, the growth of the settlements are creating a reality on the ground that increasingly will make a two-state solution impossible,” Obama said.

“It was important for us to send a signal, a wake up call that this moment may be passing, and Israeli voters and Palestinians need to understand that this moment may be passing,” he added. “Hopefully that then creates a debate inside both Israeli and Palestinian communities that won’t result immediately in peace but at least will lead to a more sober assessment of what the alternatives are.”

Notwithstanding this portrayal of the move as helpful to Israel, Republican members of Congress expressed their outrage with the Obama Administration’s decision to abstain and many in the outgoing president’s Democratic party, including new Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (NY), did so as well.

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“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the administration has failed to veto this resolution,” Schumer said in December shortly after the vote. “Past administrations – both Democrat and Republican – have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News