Netanyahu thanks Congress, ‘America’ for House resolution condemning UN vote


(JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel thanked America and its House of Representatives for passing a resolution condemning a U.N. vote against settlements.

Netanyahu said “thank you, America, thank you, Congress” in a video his office posted Friday on YouTube following the resolution’s passing the previous evening by a vote of 342-80.

Sponsored by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and  Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the committee’s senior Democrat, the resolution said that last month’s U.N. Security Council vote “undermined the long-standing position of the United States to oppose and veto United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues.”

The United States abstained, refraining from exercising its veto and allowing the Security Council resolution, which called Israeli settlements a “flagrant violation of international law” and a danger to a two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to pass 14-0. The House resolution also condemned the Obama administration.

“After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the U.N., the U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution,” Netanyahu said. “Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory,” he added in reference to the holy Jewish site, which is in eastern Jerusalem.

“They voted to either repeal the resolution at the United Nations or change it — and that’s exactly what we intend to do,” the prime minister said. “I want to thank the U.S. House of Representatives, which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people.”

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