U.N. Approves Resolution Against Israeli Settlements as U.S. Breaks Long-standing Tradition of Defending Israel by Abstaining From Vote

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday night to adopt a resolution that requires Syria to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weapons. The resolution places binding obligations on the nation.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday night to adopt a resolution that requires Syria to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weapons. The resolution places binding obligations on the nation.

Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a contentious resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.

The administration’s decision not to veto the measure broke a longstanding American tradition of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield.

It came a day after Mr. Trump personally intervened to keep the draft measure, proposed by Egypt, from coming up for a vote on Thursday, as scheduled. Mr. Trump’s aides said he spoke to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Both men also spoke to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt postponed the vote.

But in a show of mounting frustration, a group of other countries on the 15-member Security Council — all of them relatively powerless temporary members with rotating two-year seats — snatched the resolution away from Egypt and put it up for a vote Friday afternoon.

It passed 14 votes in favor, with the United States abstaining.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: NY Times, Somini Sengupta