Just before the Christmas, the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning the building of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Security Council resolution states that Israel’s settlements have “no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation of international law”. This is one of very rare instances when the Security Council has been able to pass a resolution against Israel as normally the United States vetoes such resolutions even if they are supported by all other members of international community.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately criticized the decision, saying that the Obama administration “failed to protect Israel against gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes.”
But the Obama administration’s decision not to veto the resolution was also criticized by Republican leaders. House Speaker Paul Ryan responded to the news by issuing the following statement:
“This is absolutely shameful. Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”
Now Speaker Ryan has elaborated what he meant by “absolutely shameful”:
“I think that it is absolutely shameful that the Obama administration has willfully abandoned this decades-old tradition of always ignoring Palestinian human rights and always respecting the wishes of Israeli settlers. There is no telling what damage to American reputation it might do in the Arab world.
Even more shameful is the Obama administration’s overall respect for international law. First of all, there is no evidence that the Israeli settlement policy violates international law – it is only the opinion of the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, and other members of the UN as well as the International Court of Justice.
But most importantly, Israel cannot be in violation of international law because it has Biblical promises to this land, and as all truly conservative Republicans are aware, God’s promises are more persuasive than international law.
But the Obama administration now has proven beyond doubt that it is completely un-American and unpatriotic because it decided to go along with the community of nations and show respect for international law. This is absolutely shameful.”
(Image credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)