U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution Against Israel

Resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal vetoed by U.S.

Published: February 19th 2011
in News » Israel

US Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice

In a first by the Obama administratin, the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Friday which would have declared Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.


While the resolution was vetoed, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. , Susan Rice, made it clear that the U.S. does not support Israel's action and agrees about "the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity." However, understanding that the settlement issue goes beyond a meanigless U.N. reslution, Rice did state that "we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians."


Unsurprisingly, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer of Palestine to the U.N., objected to the veto.


"The proper message that should have been sent by the Secuirty Council to Israel, the occupying power, is that its contempt of international law and the international community will no longer be tolerated," he said. "We fear, however, that the message sent today may be one that only encourages further Israeli intransigence and impunity.  This must be remedied."


In an equally unsurprising move, Israel praised the veto, stating the the decision "contributes to the resumption of the diplomatic process and (it) regrets that the other Security Council members have refrained from making the same contribution."


The Obama administration has not shied from showing its disapointment in the continued Israeli settlement construction and this feeling was reaffirmed by Rice on Friday, saying  that Friday's veto should not be "misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity."


"On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of the continued Israeli settlement activity," she said.


Following the vote, Israel joined the U.S. in calling for direct negotiations, again.  


"Only thus, and not through seizing the Security Council, will it be possible to advance the peace process so as to benefit both parties and to serve the cause of peace and security througout the region," said Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via a statement.

Related articles: (United Nations, Israel, Settlements, United States, Veto)
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