US Veto Expected in Friday Vote on Criticizing Israeli Settlements

Obama Calls Abbas to Press Him Against Resolution

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on the Palestinian-backed resolution condemning Israel’s settlement expansion as a violation of international law, and the Obama Administration is preparing to veto it.

Palestinian officials noted that they had virtually universal support on such a resolution, and could easily count on the support of any of 130 nations. Unfortunately, the US is not one of them, and the administration is willing to use its first UN veto on it.

President Obama has been pressing Palestinian Authority leader Abbas not to even bring up the resolution, allowing the US to avoid the embarrassing veto. To that end, they were said to have offered a massively watered down resolution that would chide the settlements over lack of legitimacy without questioning their legality.

But even this step sparked considerable outrage in Congress, where the notion of criticizing Israel, especially when they are doing something in stark violation of international law and basic human decency, is a threat to national security. A number of Congressmen from both parties have warned the administration that they must “stand with Israel during these difficult times,” which is to say rubber stamp their behavior.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of