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US Vetoes UN Resolution on Israel –But Agrees with its Substance

Evelyn Leopold
Huffington Post [1]
Feb 19, 2011

UNITED NATIONS – The United States killed a UN Security Council resolution that would have declared Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories illegal by vetoing a draft resolution that reflected American sentiments.

The isolation of the United States, which did not want the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Security Council, was palpable. The 14 other Council members voted in favor. And more than 100 countries, including some US allies in Europe and South America, signed up as co-sponsors of the measure (see text [2])

However, the underlying questions – the dispute over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the stalled peace negotiations and the impact on Israel and Palestinians of uprisings against Middle East dictators were far from being resolved in Friday’s uproar.

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The American action is bound to be criticized by many in the Middle East and beyond. US Ambassador Susan Rice originally wanted a Council statement (which does not carry the weight of a resolution) that American supporters of Israel roundly condemned.

In the meeting, Rice [5] emphasized a Council resolution would not move the parties closer to negotiations and “risks hardening the position of both sides.” At the same time she rejected “in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.” In a telephone conference with reporters later she said Washington opposed the word “illegal” in the draft resolution she called one-sided.

Full article here [1]