PM responds strictly to UN resolution, calls envoys of supporting states to meetings; Netanyahu cancels scheduled meeting with British PM; Recalls ambassadors from NZ & Senegal; Defense Minister suspends political and civil coordination with PA
Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday summoned the envoys of states that supported the UN Security Council anti-settlement resolution in Jerusalem, reportedly meeting with 10 ambassadors on Christmas morning.
Resolution 2334 was brought to the Security Council by New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela and voted in by 14 of the 15 members states, the United States abstaining from the vote and refusing to use its veto power. The resolution deems Israeli settlements in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem as illegal and calls for an end to settlement growth and construction.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has responded to the resolution swiftly and strictly, not only condemning the resolution, but also vocally refusing to adhere to its demands. On Friday, he called on Israel’s Foreign Ministry to begin to “reevaluate” Israel’s ties with the United Nations, instructing the cut off of 30 million NIS to various funding of United Nations programs. Media reports claim Netanyahu is considering halting its annual membership payment to the body as well.
On Sunday morning, the Prime Minister met with ambassadors from Russia, China, Angola, France, Egypt, Japan, Uruguay and Ukraine and with deputy ambassadors from Britain and Spain as the ambassadors are abroad. Shortly after, the Prime Minister announced he was cancelling an upcoming meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
While there are no embassies for Senegal and New Zealand, Netanyahu previously recalled Israel’s ambassadors to Senegal and New Zealand on Friday, suspending diplomatic ties with both states. The Prime Minister instructed the cancellation of all official visits to Senegal to be cancelled for three weeks times, as well as the cancelling of all Israel’s aid programs in Senegal. He also cancelled an upcoming visit with Senegalese Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye.
Israel holds no diplomatic relations with Venezuela or Malaysia.
Netanyahu also summonsed US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro on Sunday after reportedly stating to Secretary of State John Kerry during a call following the vote “Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”
During his Sunday morning address during his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu addressed the Obama Administration’s responsibility behind the passing of the resolution, stating “We have no doubt that the Obama Administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated the texts, and made sure it passed. This is of course, in complete opposition to traditional US policy which committed itself to not trying to impose permanent agreement conditions, or anything connected to them, in the UN Security Council.”
He stated that the betrayal “obviously stands in open contradiction to traditional American policy that pledged never to try to force conditions for a permanent framework or anything connected to this through the Security Council, and clearly also contradicts an explicit commitment of President Obama in 2011 to refrain from taking such steps.”
Netanyahu made clear on Saturday evening warning of the diplomatic and economic loss of working against the state of Israel, stating “Those who work with us will gain, because Israel has a lot to offer the nations of the world. But those who stand against us will lose, because there will be a diplomatic and economic price to their actions against Israel.”
And on Sunday, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suspended all political and civilian coordination with the Palestinian Authority indefinitely. The PA and Hamas have praised the resolution, Abbas claiming the resolution is “The world is telling Israel, you must be attentive and walk back from this erroneous policy that cannot bring peace.”