Donald Trump weighed in this week on a proposed United Nations resolution that would officially denounce Israeli settlements in the West Bank, arguing that the U.S. should veto the proposal and leave negotiations to the parties directly involved – Israel and the Palestinians.
“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” Trump said in a statement. “This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
In calling for a veto, Trump joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who asked the U.S. to do the same.
The resolution was scheduled to come up for a vote on Thursday, but diplomats told reporters late in the day that it had been pulled off the docket and postponed indefinitely.
This is not the first time the U.N. has tried to pass such a resolution. The last time was in 2011; the U.S. vetoed that effort. This vote, however, came with some uncertainty. Some believed that President Obama might sign onto the settlement condemnation in one last act of liberal defiance before leaving office.
The resolution was reportedly drafted by Egypt. Not only would it have condemned the Jewish settlements, but it also included language accusing Israel of violating international law and “dangerously imperiling the viability of a two-state solution.” Netanyahu’s government says the only thing imperiling a peace agreement are the terrorist organizations sponsoring attacks on Israelis.
Trump has been clear about his support for Israel throughout the campaign, promising to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a promise that has, in fairness, been made and broken by the last three American presidents. But he put teeth to his words when he nominated David Friedman to be his ambassador to Israel. Friedman has expressed doubts about the viability of a two-state solution and has supported Jewish settlements both rhetorically and financially.
As of January 20th, Israel will once again have a rock-solid ally in the United States, bringing to an end the chilly relations of the Obama years. This is good news for American Christians who believe it’s the country’s solemn duty to protect the Jewish state and good news for anyone who wants to see the U.S. strengthen its own national security.