Taking a short break from lashing out at the international media for reporting the growing civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke in detail about the events leading up to the US abstention from the United Nations Security Council’s vote on the Gaza Strip ceasefire.
“Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it.” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia. I said ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call.”
A beaming Olmert then described telling President Bush “the US cannot possibly vote in favor of this resolution,” and spoke with pride of how embarrassed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was at having to abstain from voting for a resolution she helped to organize and gather support for.
The US abstention shocked diplomats, and made it easier for Israel to dismiss the ceasefire out of hand. At the time of the vote Rice declared that the United States supported the draft but could not vote for it because of their “special relationship” with Israel. Just days later Rice too was lashing out at the resolution as “unacceptable.”