Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Politicians on the Right competed Saturday over how harshly they could condemn the UN Security Council decision on Israel, while those on the Left said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his policies were to blame.
Bayit Yehud chairman Naftali Bennett said the decision proved that years of Israeli concessions to the Palestinians did not bear fruit and therefore the time has come to instead start annexing territory in Judea and Samaria.
“Thousands of terrorists all over the world look at the UN decision and see it as a call to action,” Bennett said. “The decision is a direct result of a policy of concessions that started in Oslo and the incorrect decision to agree to a Palestinian state in the heart of our land. It will be thrown to the ash heap of history like other resolutions that came before.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) called the decision absurd and delusional and said if the Western Wall is occupied territory then the UN must obligate America to return New York to the Indians.
Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) said US President Barack Obama was never a supporter of Israel and proved it by abandoning America’s most loyal ally. She said she happy that in four more weeks the White House would be “painted pro-Israel again” when President-elect Donald Trump begins his term.
“Obama is spitting in the face of Israeli democracy,” Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) said. “He acted behind the back of Israel and hurt us in an unprecedented manner.”
Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) said the US had abandoned Israel to its enemies. Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) said “America’s vote showed the true face of Barack Hussein Obama and that “Israel must be thankful on Christmas Eve that we got Trump from heaven.
Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev said Obama stood on the sidelines as thousands of Syrians were murdered and now he took a step that constituted “antisemitism.” Likud MK Yoav Kisch said Obama proved that he is a coward by taking the step while he was on the way out.
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid cautioned against relying on Trump and noted that zero countries supported Israel at the UN.
“We were caught not ready at the UN which is just as bad as if the IDF was caught unready at the border,” Lapid said. “With the right policies, we could return Israel to be the most beloved country in the world.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union said he strongly opposed the decision and that America should have vetoed it. But he said that if Israel had a different government that was more balanced and responsible, the decision could have been prevented. Herzog said he warned Netanyahu for months that this could happen and he “closed his ears.”
“Netanyahu gambled on the future of Israel and sold out its security for a few mandates from Bayit Yehudi,” Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni said. “He knew that promoting the outpost bill would lead to a decision by the Security Council and yet he still surrendered to the extreme Right. Netanyahu must go home.”
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said she was happy that the American administration did not veto the proposal, which “is against a policy of annexation and settlements and not against the State of Israel.”
“It shows that the world is losing patience with Israel’s two-faced policies, and Israel is sacrificing its international legitimacy in order to advance settlements and occupation,” Gal-On said.
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories said the decision is for the best for the people who live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
“It is not antisemitic, but balanced, in that it goes against the occupation and not Israel,” the organization said. “Let us hope that the decision will lead to additional international steps for the future of Israelis and Palestinians and against the occupation.”