Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The UN resolution against Israeli settlements is starting to smell fishy...

via New Zealand Herald.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Foreign Minister Murray McCully of a "declaration of war" if the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel's continued settlements, according to a report.
New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution, which said the settlements violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine.
On Saturday, the Security Council voted in favour of passing the resolution and the Israeli Government recalled its ambassador from New Zealand as a result.
Before the vote on Saturday, Netanyahu personally phoned McCully and warned him of war, unnamed Western diplomats told Isareli newspaper Haaretz.
"This is a scandalous decision. I'm asking that you not support it and not promote it," Netanyahu reportedly told McCully.
"If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences."

McCully reportedly refused to back down, telling Netanyahu: "This resolution conforms to our policy and we will move it forward."
A spokesman for McCully confirmed the phone call took place, but said the Foreign Minister wouldn't comment on what was discussed.
First we have the SecState making a speech regarding the vote in the UN on Israeli settlements.  Then we have the Israelis stating that they have proof that the US administration pushed for the vote (which would undeniably be contrary to US policy) and now we have this unconfirmed report from New Zealand?

This whole thing is smelling fishy.

The worst part of this is that we're seeing the Middle East continue to burn.  Yemen is off the front page but the Saudis are still in over their heads.  The attack on Mosul has ground to a halt and they're talking about losing an entire division to retake the city (how many divisions does Iraq have anyway?) and we have a new fight shaping up in Syria around Raqqa.

The State Dept, Pentagon and the National Security Establishment does not need this distraction.

One last thing.  Netanyahu is viewed as a wild card by many (I think he's exactly the right kind of leader they need...the stumble toward instability first started in my opinion when the Sinai was returned...along with much needed strategic depth) but to tell the New Zealand Ambassador that "it will be a declaration of war" seems out of character for the guy.

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