Netanyahu halts Israeli Funding of 5 U.N. Bodies in Revenge for Settlement Freeze Demand*
Israel has suspended its multimillion dollar contribution to a number of United Nations bodies and is re-evaluating its relationship with the organization, after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution on Israeli settlement construction.
“I instructed the Foreign Ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the Israeli funding of U.N. institutions and the presence of U.N. representatives in Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Saturday while addressing the nation.
“I have already instructed to stop about 30 million shekels ($7.8 million) in funding to five U.N. institutions, five bodies, that are especially hostile to Israel … and there is more to come,” he added without offering any further details.
Netanyahu harshly criticized President Barack Obama for his decision on Friday to abstain from vetoing the resolution that declares settlements as having “no legal validity.” The resolution passed 14 to zero, with the United States abstaining.
The resolution demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem.”
The resolution “doesn’t bring peace closer. It pushes it further away,” Netanyahu said Saturday, calling the document “crazy.”
President Barack Obama’s administration constituted a “shameful ambush” by allowing the resolution’s passage, Netanyahu said in his first public comments since Friday’s vote.
“Half a million … are being slaughtered in Syria, tens of thousands are butchered in Sudan. The Middle East is up in flames, yet the Obama administration and the U.N. Security Council choose to set upon the only democracy in the Middle East,” Netanyahu told his television audience.
Netanyahu said that by abstaining the U.S. has violated a pledge made by former president Jimmy Carter who promised Tel Aviv that Washington would not dictate peace terms to Israel at the U.N. Security Council.
— RT (@RT_com) December 23, 2016
In a statement after the vote on Friday, Netanyahu’s office personally accused Obama of failing to “protect Israel against this gang-up at the U.N.,” accusing the administration of working “behind the scenes.”
The UNSC was initially scheduled to vote on the resolution presented by Egypt on behalf of Palestine on Thursday. But Cairo pulled its text at the last minute after Netanyahu allegedly exerted heavy pressure on Egyptian President Abdel Sisi.