Touting Israel as the only country in the Middle East congenial to Christians and urging people to visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offers his wish for a "Merry Christmas. Happy New Year."
It's a good bet the American President is not on his Christmas card list.
That is still Barack Obama, much to the consternation of Netanyahu and ambassador to the USA Ron Dermer. The Security Council of the United Nations on Friday unanimously (14-0) passed Resolution 234 (2016) blasting "continuing Israeli settlement activities (which) are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines."
Exorcised by the USA's decision to abstain rather than veto the measure, Netanyahu summoned the ambassadors of the 10 of the 14 countries (and later, US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro) with diplomatic relations with Israel... on Christmas Day.
Nice touch that. or as a senior diplomat in Jerusalem and a Western diplomat noted "What would they have said in Jerusalem if we summoned the Israeli ambassador on Yom Kippur." Even Terry Pegula waited until two days after Christmas to fire Rex Ryan in Buffalo.
Dermer told CNN's Don Lemon "It’s an old story that the United Nations gangs up on Israel. What is new is that the United States did not stand up and oppose that gang up. And what is outrageous is that the United States was actually behind that gang up.”
While the White House's deputy national security adviser maintained "we did not draft this resolution; we did not introduce this resolution," Dermer claimed he had evidence to the contrary, which he would present to the next Administration.
Haranguing ambassadors (some of them Christian) on Christmas, charging your most steadfast ally with conspiring against you, and treating an incumbent American President as if an ex-President seem like someone intent on working out resentment at the expense of his own nation. No one can know for sure why Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to give, Trump-like, a middle finger to the United Nations and the United States for passing a non-binding resolution which is likely to backfire on Israel. However, Yousef Munayyer, executive director of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, suggests an interesting, albeit completely unproven, motivation when he contends
And, you know, when you consider the fact that Ronald Reagan allowed 21 different United Nations Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, including criticizing the bombings of Beirut and the siege of Beirut throughout the 1980s, and Barack Obama had various opportunities during the sieges of Gaza and the bombardments of Gaza that took place under his watch to do so and didn’t, you know, these accusations against President Obama somehow being uniquely anti-Israel really raise questions about whether or not those accusations are not about something else that is unique about President Obama.