Netanyahu: Israel ‘deeply appreciates’ Obama’s veto on UN resolution condemning settlements

February 22, 2011


Is all this illegitimate? Of course not—not according to that earlier Security Council Resolution, 242 of 1967, which sets the basis for Arab-Israeli diplomatic processes and never mentions settlements; nor according to the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo accords, which leave settlements as an issue for final-status negotiations and in no way proscribe them.
Nor were settlements illegitimate according to Eugene V. Rostow, the late legal scholar who helped draft Resolution 242 and, in 1991, asserted in the New Republic that Israel’s right to settle the West Bank is “unassailable” and that “the Jews have the same right to settle there as they have to settle in Haifa.” Nor according to Stephen M. Schwebel, the international-law expert who wrote in 1970 that

As between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem….

And what of the implications of the U.S. secretary of state publicly branding communities comprising half a million people as “illegitimate”? They’re clearly very negative, at a time when Israel is subject to a worldwide delegitimization campaign that seeks to drum home big lies about it being a “rogue,” “apartheid” state that consistently flouts international law and deserves “BDS” (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) if not violent attack.

Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States on Saturday after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity. “Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
“Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution today.
Israel remains committed to pursuing comprehensive peace with all our neighbors, including the Palestinians.
We seek a solution that will reconcile the Palestinians’ legitimate aspirations for statehood with Israel’s need for security and recognition.
Today’s decision by the U.S. makes it clear that the only path to such a peace will come through direct negotiations and not through the decisions of international bodies.
We are prepared to pursue those peace negotiations vigorously and are eager to get on with the work of achieving a secure peace. We hope the Palestinians will join us in that effort as soon as possible”.
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