The United States openly dismissed on Tuesday a report that they had threatened to potentially not use their veto power on an anti-Israel vote at the United Nations Security Council if Israel built more Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. But if Israel was hoping for a promised veto of a UN vote labeling illegal the Jewish communities, known as settlements, the US didn’t make that promise either.
In comments released by the State Department, US spokesman Mark Toner, when asked if the Americans had threatened to not veto a vote in the powerful Security Council on Israel, said, “I know we don’t generally comment on private conversations, but I’d like to nip that story in the bud. We haven’t issued any kind of ultimatum on this.” Toner didn’t take the initiative to promise a veto either. He just noted that “there’s not even a resolution out there right now. So I mean, I don’t want to speak about something in the abstract.”
There have long been reports that Israel could be targeted by the Security Council, the most powerful and legally-binding entity at the UN. But the US is one of five nations with veto power in the 15-member council, and they have often used that power to defend Israel from one-sided resolutions.
However, Israel’s Channel 2—according to The Times of Israel—cited senior sources in Israel that said the US warned the Israelis not to announce any new settlement construction in response to the wave of Palestinian terrorism or else they might not veto a UN vote terming Israel’s settlements illegal.
In the past, in an effort to distinguish their response from a perpetuating cycle of violence, Israel has sometimes announced new building after terror attacks. This response is nonetheless controversial for those opposed to Israeli settlements because the Palestinians claim the same territory for themselves.
But the Channel 2 “US ultimatum” story was denied by both the US and Israel. The Times of Israel cited a senior Israeli official who said they had not heard of any American threats regarding the UN veto protection and settlements.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 6, 2015)