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Firestorm Continues Between Israel, Obama Administration

12-28-2016
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The fallout continues between the outgoing Obama administration and one of its strongest allies, Israel.

A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has "ironclad proof" the U.S. was not only supportive of the U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements, but that the White House helped put together the entire deal. 
 
The State Department, however, says that just isn't the case. 
 
"We reject the notion that the United States was the driving force behind this resolution. That's just not true," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said. 

Meanwhile, Israel is pushing back against countries that supported the resolution. 

IN a phone call to the president of New Zealand, Netanyahu reportedly said promotion of the resolution is a "declaration of war." 

Israel has also cut its aid to Senegal for supporting the resolution. 
 
Netanyahu has strong allies in the U.S., with several leading Republicans, including Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, wanting Washington to cut its support of the U.N. 
 
"We should seriously consider withholding funds from the U.N. until this resolution is rescinded entirely," Cotton said.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration for allowing the resolution to pass. 

In a statement, Chief Legal Counsel Jay Sekulow said, "It's our sacred duty to defend Israel."

The ball is now in President-elect Donald Trump's court. 

Trump has been a strong supporter of Israel and a critic of the U.N.
  
On Twitter, he blasted the world body saying, "The United Nations has such great potential but right now, it's just a social club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad."

 

 

Trump is not alone in his response. Others are criticizing the Obama administration's action at the U.N. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization, is calling the move the top anti-Semitic incident of 2016.

Meanwhile, France is hosting a peace conference on the Middle East in January. The French say the conference will go ahead despite the controversy at the U.N., but Israel said months ago it would not attend that meeting.

In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry is laying out the Obama administration's blueprint for a two-state solution, a plan that envisions an independent Palestinian state. The goal allegedly is to end the latest political firestorm involving the outgoing Obama administration and the State of Israel.
 

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