Once again the world is left scratching its head and Obama is wondering if he misread his calendar as Donald Trump assumed the mantle of leader of the world and acted as if he’s already residing in the White House. Charles Krauthammer says the Egyptian UN resolution, were it to have been approved, would have been a huge slap at Israel and one that would not likely be able to be removed by the Security Council.
Rather than sitting helplessly on the sidelines as Obama took a parting shot at Israel, Mr. Trump called in an early favor from Egypt’s President al-Sisi, asking and receiving the withdrawal of the resolution, which would have declared Israeli settlements illegal and called for a cease to their construction.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pleas had fallen on deaf ears with Obama, but found a willing partner in President-elect Trump. Netanyahu said, “Israelis deeply appreciate one of the great pillars of the US-Israel alliance: the willingness over many years of the United States to stand up in the UN and veto anti-Israel resolutions. I hope the US won’t abandon this policy.”
But there had been speculation that the Obama administration might change that strategy in the president’s final month in office and allow Egypt’s resolution condemning Israel to pass by abstaining from voting in the Security Council.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Trump had urged the Security Council to defeat the resolution. President-elect Trump said in a statement, “Peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
After the postponement of the vote, an Israeli official told Reuters that it had warned the Obama regime in advance that it would appeal to the President-elect if the US abstained, and confirmed that it had directly asked Mr. Trump to intervene.
Egyptian President Abdel al-Sisi spoke with Mr. Trump by telephone. In a statement, al-Sisi’s office confirmed that he had agreed to allow the new US administration the opportunity to work on the issue.
There may be more uncertainty, though, as four other nations pledged to take up the resolution themselves if Egypt declined to do so, New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia, and Senegal.
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