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Monday, December 26, 2016

Why Donald Trump And Benjamin Netanyahu's Meltdown Over The UN Vote Is No Massive Surprise

No one should be shocked by the abhorrent behavior on display by both Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu over the United States' abstention from enabling a UNSC Resolution condemning Israel's continued settlement construction to pass. Both of them are going back to the same tired talking points of why a Palestinian state is too dangerous to enable and that it's Israel's right to continue settlement construction of both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. While this comes as sweet revenge for Barack Obama, the truth of the matter is that the demand that Israel cease settlement construction and follow international law has been U.S. Policy regarding the Mideast going back to Lyndon Johnson's administration and carried on by the 8 presidents that succeeded him. For Obama to order Samantha Powers to abstain displays that it has been an ongoing foreign policy objective to achieve a 2-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not some underhanded plot to reject Israel's sovereignty.

So it's no wonder that Netanyahu is exceedingly furious as he and his government are finally starting to be held accountable for their violations of international law. The fact is that the United States can't continue to shield these acts if it's serious about bringing an end to this conflict. There had been ongoing private warnings by Obama and his foreign policy team that there would be consequences for Netanyahu's intransigence, and the abstention was a way of driving that point home. If Israel is really serious about defending a policy that is indefensible, it's only going to isolate itself even further. So to call Obama's order an anti-Semitic act is completely bogus, as the abstention was about upholding international law and the binding agreements to which Israel is a signatory.

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