The US this week refused to give Israel their stamp of approval to continue building settlements in East Jerusalem. Many see the increased settlement activity as a roadblock in the creation of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
The UN Resolution against Israel’s continued encroachment into East Jerusalem has angered the Israe
thli leadership. The resolution condemns Israel’s plans to continue to build settlements in territory taken in the 1967 war. The resolution condemning those settlements passed by a 14-0 vote. The US could have killed the resolution with its veto power, but chose instead to abstain from voting.
The resolution, however, did not halt plans to build an estimated 600 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem. In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ministry plans to
ramp up the settlement efforts, and may include annexation of parts of the West Bank.
Rumors coming out of Israel that the US helped write the resolution, has been flatly denied. Those close to the matter say no one was even sure how the US would vote on the resolution, and while Netanyahu has called the resolution an “act of war,” against Israel, it did not stop him from accepting $38 billion in US military aid.
Even the military aid package has been condemned by some Israeli leaders. Obama lauds the $38 billion aid p
ackage as a great gift to Israel from the American taxpayers.
The $38 billion aid package includes squadrons of F-35 fighter jets, but the deal is not seen as generosity by some in Israel because it includes a requirement that Israel purchase arms and equipment from US manufacturers.
Yair Lapid, an Israeli Centrist Party leader, who has an eye on becoming Israel’s next prime minister says the deal favors the US because it bolsters the US Military Industrial Complex while putting people out of work in Israel.
The Washingto
n Post quoted Lapid as saying, “the only thing the Israelis will remember from the deal is the unemployment lines.”
Lapid and others in his party believe that if Netanyahu had not been feuding with Obama the past two years over the Iran nuclear deal, Israel would have received a better deal from Washington. Even so, it’s unlikely the Iranian deal had anything to do with the US refusal to veto the UN resolution. Obama, as presidents before him, have long sought a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
Israel considers both the UN resolution and the Military aid deal a slap to the face and a wedge between two allies. A wedge Incoming president Donald Trump, who has promised a “different” relationship with Israel, will inherit.
Obama are Netanyahu are scheduled to meet today at the UN in New York.