United States President Barack Obama makes remarks to the media during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House
Cabinet Meeting in Washington DC, America - 13 Sep 2013
(Rex Features via AP Images)
Democrats scorch Obama over UN vote condemning Israeli settlements
Congressional Democrats issued scathing statements aimed at the Obama administration over the US’s abstention from a Friday UN Security Council vote demanding Israel stop building settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.
Leading Democrats from both houses called out the UN as an inappropriate venue for rejuvenating the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. They objected to the Obama administration’s departure from what they view as decades of established US policy of vetoing UN resolutions regarding Israeli settlements.
Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it was “extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding” that the Obama administration failed to veto the UN’s vote.
Schumer called out the UN as a “fervently” anti-Israel body, since the days of “Zionism is racism.”
“Whatever one’s views are on settlements, the UN is the wrong forum to settle these issues,” Schumer said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, called the US’s abstention from the vote “unconscionable.”
“A two-state solution must be negotiated directly between the Israelis and Palestinians, and this resolution flies in the face of this necessity,” Blumenthal said.