Last Updated Dec 23, 2016 2:06 PM EST
An Israeli official has accused President Obama of “a shameful move against Israel at the U.N.,” according to the Associated Press, upon learning that the U.S. would not veto a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s construction of settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The vote on Israel’s settlement activity, which had been postponed, is now scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, CBS News United Nations analyst Pam Falk reports.
The U.N. Security Council had originally planned to hold the vote Thursday but postponed it under heavy pressure from Israel. On Friday, an unnamed Israeli official who accused Mr. Obama of a “shameful move” also made another accusation, that the “U.S. administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back.”
Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon appealed to the U.S. to veto the resolution.
“This resolution is a Palestinian initiative which is intended to harm Israel,” Danon told Falk. “We call on the United States to stand by us and we expect our greatest ally to continue with its long-standing policy and to veto this resolution.”
Israeli officials had warned the Obama administration that they would seek support from Donald Trump after failing to convince the White House to veto the resolution, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reported Thursday. The White House has not commented on the Security Council vote.
Congressional leadership also condemned the vote. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who will be the new Senate minority leader, says he has urged the administration to veto the resolution -- “an abstention is not good enough,” he wrote in a statement Friday, and he accused the U.N. of “one-sidedness” and an “anti-Israel bias” on the settlements issue.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called the U.N. vote “an outrage,” and he threatened, “If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations.”
It is not yet known how the U.S., which has previously vetoed similar actions by the U.N. on Israel, will vote, since President Obama has himself criticized the West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements.
Secretary of State John Kerry recently said that the U.S. hadn’t decided on the resolution, but said that it would reject something that’s biased against Israel. But he also said that Israel’s settlement construction is dangerous because it is increasingly narrowing the prospects for peace and a two-state solution.
Mr. Trump tweeted his support of Israel before the vote Thursday was postponed, saying that the resolution “puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
Although the U.S. opposes settlements, it has traditionally used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block resolutions condemning Israel, saying that disputes between Israel and the Palestinians must be resolved through negotiations.