Netanyahu summons envoys of UN resolution backers, upbraids Obama
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PM: 'As I told Kerry: Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council'

Netanyahu summons envoys of UN resolution backers, upbraids Obama

PM calls in US envoy for 'clarification'; Foreign Ministry rousts 10 ambassadors for Xmas morning scoldings; PM accuses White House of initiating and helping draft anti-settlement measure

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on December 25, 2016. (AFP/POOL/Dan Balilty)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on December 25, 2016. (AFP/POOL/Dan Balilty)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday summoned the ambassadors of the states that supported an anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council for a dressing-down as Jerusalem continued to seethe over the move.

In total, 10 envoys were called in on Christmas morning for scoldings from directors of the Foreign Ministry’s respective regional departments, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said.

In the case of Great Britain and Spain, the deputy ambassadors were summoned because their respective bosses are currently not in the country.

The ambassadors of China, Russia, France, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Ukraine and Uruguay were expected to arrive in Jerusalem later on Sunday — Christmas Day.

Senegal and New Zealand do not have embassies in Israel. Venezuela and Malaysia do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The ambassador of the US, which abstained in Friday’s vote, was summoned by Netanyahu for a “clarification” of the US vote, Channel 2 reported on Sunday afternoon.

Addressing the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu reiterated his staunch opposition to Friday’s passage of Resolution 2334, which condemns Israeli settlements and all forms of terrorism and incitement, and blamed outgoing US President Barack Obama for not only withholding a veto but for having been a driving force behind its passing.

“We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated its versions and insisted upon its passage,” he said.

Washington’s abstention was a departure from its longstanding position to protect Israel from what it sees as unbalanced resolutions at the UN.

“Over decades, American administrations and Israeli governments have disagreed about settlements. But we agreed that the security Council was not the place to resolve this issue,” Netanyahu said, switching from Hebrew to English.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary Of State John Kerry in New York on September 23, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary Of State John Kerry in New York on September 23, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

“We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away. As I told [US Secretary of State] John Kerry on Thursday: Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”

Netanyahu said he was encouraged by statements from American political leaders on both sides of the aisle who reassured him of their continued support for Israel and their opposition to Friday’s UN resolution.

“They understand how reckless and destructive this UN resolution was; they understand that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory. I look forward to working with those friends and with the new administration when it takes office next month.”

Netanyahu also reiterated his vow to curtail funding to various UN agencies and to take “additional” measures to punish states that supported the resolution.

“We will do all it takes so Israel emerges unscathed from this shameful decision,” Netanyahu said.

On Saturday, Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, canceled the upcoming visit to Israel of the Ukrainian prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, as a punitive measure against the country’s vote.

He also ordered a series of punitive measures against New Zealand and Senegal, two of the four countries that co-sponsored the resolution.

Netanyahu recalled Israel’s ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal to Jerusalem for consultations.

He canceled the upcoming visit to Israel of the Senegalese foreign minister and instructed the Foreign Ministry to cancel all aid programs to the African country.

He also ordered the cancellation of visits in Israel of the nonresident ambassadors of Senegal and New Zealand.

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