JERUSALEM, Israel – Tensions are high between Israel and the Obama administration after the United States refused to veto a United Nations resolution.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is accusing President Obama of helping to orchestrate the vote that condemns Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Israel says that move has pushed peace for the nations further away and as reports suggest the already cold relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is now at an all-time low.
Israelis heading into the Hanukkah holiday were stunned, though not surprised, by the U.N. resolution.
"It means for Israel that USA has decided to provide tailwind to rogue regimes which control the United Nations," said former Israeli liaison to Congress Yoram Ettinger.
The U.N. resolution says Israeli settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem have no "legal validity" and demands a halt to Jewish building. The U.S opposes settlements but has always backed Israel at U.N.
"We agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue," Netanyahu said. "We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away. And as I told [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry on Thursday, friends don't take friends to the Security Council."
Israel won the territory in the 1967 Six-Day War. Close to 500,000 Israelis live in biblical Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, but Palestinians want it for a future state.
"I am encouraged by the statements of our friends in the United States, Republicans and Democrats," Netanyahu continued. "They understand how reckless and destructive this UN resolution was. They understand that the Western Wall isn't occupied territory."
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted it would "make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!"
Senior Obama aid Ben Rhodes denied Israel had been ambushed and added that Trump's not in charge yet.
Israel says it has proof that Obama himself was behind the resolution, which it will present to Trump once he's in office.
"There's no doubt that the resolution is in sync with Obama's worldview," Ettinger said. "According to President Obama, irrespective of reality the Palestinian issue is the core cause of Middle East turbulence, the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict."
Ettinger added that Obama isn't a classic lame duck president but will leave with "thundering steps."
"Those steps could be domestic steps, those steps could be global," he said. "Those steps could be Mideast but we ain't seen nothing yet and we better wait between now and January 20 for further surprises from the White House."
For now, Israel and many in the U.S. are watching, waiting, and praying for a smooth transition of power.