In an interview with CNN, a White House senior level official explained the US’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote and warned that the continued building of settlements will make a two-state solution impossible.

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Yesterday (Friday), several hours after the US decided to abstain from the UN Security Council vote on the anti-settlement resolution, a senior level White House official explained the decision. In an interview with CNN, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes denied that US President Barack Obama was trying to get revenge on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Bipartisan policy of the US government for decades has been to oppose settlements,” Rhodes explained. “The reason we took this step is because for years we’ve seen an acceleration in the growth of these settlements. And frankly, if these current trends continue, the two-state solution is going to be impossible.”

Not trying to

Not trying to “get back” at Netanyahu Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

“We’ve had years and years where we’ve tried the peace process,” Rhodes continued to defend the decision. “We’ve tried direct talks, proximity talks, we’ve warned publicly that the continued advance of these settlements was going to make a peace process less viable and a two-state solution potentially impossible…We’re worried about the situation on the ground.”


Rhodes Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Regarding the accusation that the US does not support Israel, Rhodes stated: “It’s just not backed up by the record. We just concluded a $38 billion tenure for security assistance to Israel.”

“As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” President-elect Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the vote. However, reversing the decision will be almost impossible as at least 9 of the 15 Security Council members will have to support the change.