US abstention from UNSC vote stab in Israel’s back, Analyst says

US abstention from UNSC vote stab in Israel’s back, Analyst says

Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:1AM

Israel has responded furiously to a UN Security Council resolution condemning its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Tel Aviv has called the resolution shameful, threatening to reassess its ties with the UN. The UNSC Resolution 2334 was passed with 14 votes in favor and one abstention — by the US. In this edition of ‘The Debate,’ Press TV has spoken to journalist and Middle East expert Aki Nawaz, and Buckingham University professor Geoffrey Alderman to discuss what the US abstention vote means for the future of Washington-Tel Aviv relations.

Geoffrey Alderman believes that the US abstention vote is a “parting shot by President Obama in his last weeks in office. He is determined to end his presidency on a high note as far as the so-called peacemaking in the Middle East is concerned.”

The abstention vote by the US administration was actually “a stab in the back” of Israel, the analyst noted, adding that the move put an end to President Barack Obama’s deteriorating relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I think there is a higher dimension of politics here. Obama wants to make it as difficult as possible for Donald Trump when he takes office on the 20th of January. The calculation is that having not used the American veto [power against] this resolution, Trump will find himself somehow hemmed in,” Alderman argued.

“I said at the time of Trump selection as the next president that I took with a pinch of salt Donald Trump’s declaration that he would move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I thought that was just a lot of words. Now, I think that is a distinct possibility that in retaliation for this outrageous step by the Obama administration, Donald Trump may indeed move the American embassy to Jerusalem,” he concluded.


The image grab shows journalist and Middle East expert Aki Nawaz (L) and Geoffrey Alderman, a professor at the University of Buckingham on Press TV’s ‘The Debate’ on December 24, 2016.

Meanwhile, Aki Nawaz, the other panelist on the show, refused to accept the UNSC resolution as a victory for peace, saying that sustainable peace in Palestine needs the world countries to give up regurgitating the old narratives in favor of Tel Aviv and move to a higher ground which looks more feasible and more fair for both sides of the conflict.

“I think that Obama left it too late and he should have fired the arrow a long time ago, eight years ago. Netanyahu is a right-wing monster, if I dare say, but they just keep pedaling out the same rubbish time and time again trying to get people. But the whole world knows there’s a great injustice by these occupiers against the Palestinian people,” Nawaz underlined.

“It’s up to people like Professor Alderman to kind of relate to their consciousness and say is this right what we are doing? We are not going to get peace because you haven’t had any peace and you won’t get any peace until you actually go down the path of actually looking for genuine peace with the people of Palestine,” he said.