US President Barack Obama. (AP/John Minchillo) (AP/John Minchillo)
Barack Obama

Israel fears that Obama will strike diplomatically again, and is taking measures to counter the attack and ensure that other countries don’t follow suit.  

Israeli officials are fearful that outgoing US President Barack Obama will utilize his last days in office to deal Israel another diplomatic blow, and that the US abstention on Friday at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was not his last move against the Jewish State.

Officials in Jerusalem have been reviewing the various scenarios that Israel may face. One option reviewed was that a day before Donald Trump is sworn in as president, Obama could push for a UNSC decision that would set new guidelines for the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and the final resolution conflict, significantly hindering Israel’s maneuverability at the negotiations table.

Another option is that Israel may suffer another diplomatic blow during the peace conference hosted by France in Paris, scheduled for mid-January.

Israel Radio quoted Israeli officials who said that a real battlefront has been established between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “that all masks have been removed.”

David Keyes, a spokesman for Netanyahu, said Sunday that Israel has “ironclad information” that the US worked with the Palestinians on the anti-Israel UN resolution.

Not only did the Obama administration abstain, allowing the resolution to go through, but it even helped craft the resolution, Keyes said, citing sources internationally and from the Arab world.

The resolution, he states, is an unfortunate legacy. A “last-minute jab at Israel,” which in fact weakens the chances for peace in the region.

Conveying a Message

Israel has sharply responded to countries that have supported the UNSC resolution by summoning their ambassadors and rebuking them, including US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. Furthermore, Israel has recalled its ambassadors from New Zealand and Senegal, which promoted the resolution, and has cut its aid to Senegal.

By reacting in such a harsh way, Israel hopes to convey a message that it takes such action against Israel at the UN very seriously, officials explained.

“You need to understand that what may be clear to us is not clear to others. Even friendly countries are not always aware of things we are sensitive about, and therefore we need to take steps to convey the message,” an Israeli official told Israel’s NRG news.

The official added that Israel has good bilateral relations with many of the countries who are members of the UNSC, but their voting pattern is still problematic for Israel, “and the prime minister wants to fix this.”

Netanyahu is striving to create an equation between Israel’s direct relations with countries and the way they vote at the UN.

“The working assessment is that the story is not over,” and therefore Netanyahu has adopted this sharp stance, the official said.

By: United with Israel Staff

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