Photo Credit: Emil Salman / POOL
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu at Shimon Peres' funeral

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer publicly reprimanded Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday for what he called an “unacceptable” response to the UN Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) passed last Friday with the aid of the United States. The resolution severely condemned the State of Israel and the U.S. did nothing to stop it. Netanyahu had bluntly accused U.S. President Obama of back-channel dealing to ensure the resolution made it to the floor despite being withdrawn by its original sponsor.

The allegation outraged Kurtzer, who said in an interview with Israeli radio that Netanyahu’s “nasty” language was “unacceptable.”

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An envoy to Israel under former president George W. Bush, Kurtzer was quoted by the DPA German Press Agency as saying, “The language being used against the president of the United States is itself unprecedented, and it really should not be language that an ally uses with an ally, however angry someone is.”

In the past, the U.S. has provided diplomatic protection for Israel by using its veto power as a permanent member of the Council to kill the plethora of anti-Israel resolutions that rise each year in the largely biased international forum.

But on Friday, President Barack Obama is alleged to have personally ordered his envoy to the body to abstain in voting on the resolution that condemns Israeli development in post-1967 areas — including areas like the Old City of Jerusalem, and Judaism’s most sacred sites, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

The resolution, which at first had been proposed by Egypt as a draft on Wednesday evening but within hours was instead withdrawn, and advanced instead by Senegal, New Zealand, Venezuela and Malaysia.

In response, Netanyahu lashed out Sunday evening, noting in remarks to the government cabinet, “We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded it be passed.”

A French peace initiative that was postponed from last summer has now been scheduled for January 15 — just five days before Obama leaves office, and shortly before French citizens go to the polls to choose new leadership.

There are rumors that U.S. Secretary of State is to deliver his newly re-polished address on his “vision for a Middle East peace” — with the details of his plan for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority– and which he originally intended to deliver before the UN Security Council vote.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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