Israeli Opposition Leaders Blast Netanyahu After UN Vote
according to Rapporteur report from Bloomberg, link ,After initially condemning what most Israeli politicians considered a hostile attack at the UN, the opposition on Monday blamed Netanyahu for harming the country’s standing and criticized his response to Resolution 2334.
“The prime minister was bragging about our foreign relations, and now what’s underway is a total collapse of Israeli foreign policy,” Yitzhak Herzog, co-chair of Israel’s largest opposition party, said at the opening of the Zionist Union faction meeting Monday. He called on Yair Lapid, head of the opposition party Yesh Atid, and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, whose Kulanu party is part of the government, to join him and “stop Netanyahu before it’s too late.”
Israel summoned representatives from Security Council members Sunday and ordered the Foreign Ministry to reduce work ties with countries that voted for Resolution 2334, which demands that Israel cease construction in all areas it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and describes the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory. A day earlier, Netanyahu recalled Israel’s ambassadors from New Zealand and Senegal, two of the resolution’s four co-sponsors, ended aid programs to Senegal and pledged to cut off 30 million shekels ($7.9 million) in Israeli funding to UN institutions.
“This is not policy, this is hysteria,” Yesh Atid’s Lapid said at a party meeting Monday. “We have enough haters who want to isolate us, there’s no reason to isolate ourselves.”
Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine was summoned for a meeting Monday after a planned visit to Israel by the country’s premier was cancelled after the UN vote.
Netanyahu on Monday defended his reaction to the vote, saying “there’s no alternative to a firm response.”
“Israel is a country with national pride, and we don’t turn the other cheek,” he said at an event in northern Israel. ”Countries of the world respect strong countries that stand up for themselves.”
In the days after the vote Netanyahu lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama, with whom he has had a testy relationship, saying his administration pushed the resolution behind the scenes and had broken a long-standing commitment not to allow the UN to impose conditions on Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. The U.S. decision to abstain in the vote, rather than veto the resolution, allowed it to pass.