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President-elect Donald Trump reacted on Friday to news that the US had allowed the United Nations to condemn Israeli settlements by foreshadowing a change in direction when he takes office.
“As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” Trump tweeted, referring to the date he is set to be inaugurated as the 45th president.
The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory as having “no legal validity.” Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had both called on the US to veto it, but the US abstained, allowing the resolution to pass.
Top Republicans quickly condemned the Obama administration for the move.
“This is absolutely shameful,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel.”
Ryan promised that the incoming “unified Republican government” will work to “reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican Party presidential nominee, also characterized the move as “shameful.”
“The abstention of the United States has made us complicit in this outrageous attack, and marks a troubling departure from our nation’s long, bipartisan history of defending our ally Israel in the United Nations,” he said.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham went even further, contending the Obama administration had “empowered evil” and acted as a “very poor friend to democracy.”
Before the vote passed, Graham warned that if the UN moved forward with the resolution, he would work to form a coalition to “suspend or significantly reduce” US assistance to the organization.
The Friday vote marked the first time in 36 years the UN adopted a resolution on Israeli settlements.