Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) To The United States Abstention In The UN Security Council On The Resolution On Israeli Settlements

"Ever since Oslo, Republican and Democratic administrations have opposed Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank as an obstacle to peace.  That was not a throwaway line, but nevertheless, year after year the expansion of settlements into disputed territory continued and even accelerated as if the policy of the United States, and UN resolutions, didn't matter. 

"Throughout these years, U.S. military aid to Israel has increased, even as prospects for a two state solution, which Israeli leaders have consistently claimed to want, have steadily diminished.  And even as the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict has itself become a threat to the national security of the United States.

"I commend President Obama and Ambassador Power for making clear that while we deplore the failure of the Palestinian leadership to condemn violence and will defend Israel against any foe, we will do so in a manner that says we must also defend America’s interests as Ambassador Power did."

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