Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman said Israel has evidence that President Obama colluded with the Palestinians to betray Israel.
DAVID KEYES: We have ironclad information, frankly, that the Obama administration really helped push this resolution and helped craft it from sources internationally and from sources in the Arab world. And it’s really an unfortunate legacy, a kind of last-minute jab at Israel that actually distances peace. And I applaud leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties who’ve come out and blasted this deeply anti-Israel resolution.
While the White House denies the collusion, the State Department spokesman may have given more insight into the resolution than he intended.
MARK TONER: The United States did not draft this resolution, nor did it put it forward. It was drafted and initially introduced, as we all know, by Egypt, in coordination with the Palestinians and others. When it was clear that the Egyptians and the Palestinians would insist on bringing this resolution to a vote and that every other country on the council would, in fact, support it, we made clear to others, including those on the Security Council, that further changes were needed to make the text more balanced. And in fact, we ended up abstaining because we didn’t feel it was balanced enough in the sense of it didn’t hit hard enough on the incitement-to-violence side of the coin.
But it’s here the best question appears to indicate how precisely the U.S. helped word the resolution so that they wouldn’t veto it.
TONER: We always reserved the right with any text that was put forward, drafted and put forward, to veto it or to not take action or abstain, which is what we ended up doing.
QUESTIONER: But you advised them on how to put together a motion that the United States would feel comfortable abstaining or voting in favor of?
TONER: Well, I think what we said is — and this is not just unique to this process, but once a text, a draft text is to the point where it’s going to be put forward to a vote, of course we would provide input on what we believed were — was language that didn’t pass or didn’t allow us to vote for it or —
QUESTIONER: You see what I’m saying? You didn’t just say bring whatever motion you like up and we’ll vote however we feel about it. You were encouraging them to bring forward a motion that you would feel comfortable not blocking.
TONER: Of course, we would always provide, when the final text was going up for a vote, our opinion on where the red lines were. But I think that — I think this is all a little bit of a sideshow, to be honest, that this was a resolution that we could not in good conscience veto because it condemns violence, it condemned incitement, it reiterates what has long been the overwhelming consensus international view on settlements, and it calls for the parties to take constructive steps to advance a two-state solution on the ground. There was nothing in there that would prompt us to veto that type of resolution.
QUESTIONER: Because you told them not to put anything in there that would cause you to veto it.
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