The Netanyahu government expects the U.S. to block unpleasant resolutions. The current Netanyahu reaction is all the more shrill.
The United Nations resolution against Israeli expansion of settlements is a bombshell of international diplomacy. The shrill reactions from Jerusalem bear witness to the fact that this overdue resolution is different from the previous warnings that the Netanyahu government has provoked. For too long, Israel viewed it as an established right that in the U.N. Security Council, Washington would deflect whatever didn’t suit Israel. This time, Barack Obama didn’t play along.
All the more irritated, Prime Minister Netanyahu pulls out all the stops, and through diplomatic means, dings the nations in the highest U.N. body. Moreover, the national right’s drive to press ahead with the building of settlements is strong, now more than ever.
For the Palestinians, it counts that the vote could make it possible to take legal steps against Israel, including a suit before the International Court of Justice. It is far from The Hague; the path can be blocked.
Also, President Trump will not easily be able to undo the resolution. Obama has set a new course toward his last days in office. Behind Netanyahu’s indignation is his fear that the resolution was not the last shot across the bow of his settlement policy.