JERUSALEM – In a fiery speech Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked President Obama and the United Nations for the passage a day before of a harsh resolution that criticized Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu said the resolution was part of the “swan song of old world bias against Israel,” and he compared Obama to former president Jimmy Carter, who the prime minister called the worst president for Israel and the last to break with a traditional U.S. commitment to support Israel. Carter frequently criticizes Israel’s activities in the West Bank and more recently urged Obama to extend diplomatic recognition to Palestine.

“The resolution is absurd. It states that the Jewish quarter and the Western Wall are occupied,” said Netanyahu, referring to holy Jewish sites that sit within the Old City in East Jerusalem.

But, Netanyahu said he was optimistic because the world order was about to change, especially with President-elect Donald Trump about to enter the White House. He said Israel would fight to cancel the resolution.

Israeli leaders on Saturday seemed to be counting down the days to Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, hopeful he will offer a more sympathetic approach to Israel and bring an end to what one senior minister called Obama’s support for “Palestinian intransigence, incitement, violence and terror.”

The resolution, which was brought for a vote Friday in the U.N. Security Council, declares settlements built on land Israel has occupied since the 1967 war as having “no legal validity” and a threat to the possibility of creating two-states, one for Israelis and one for Palestinians.

The resolution passed 14 to zero, with the United States, in a break with practice, abstaining rather than vetoing. It was the first resolution adopted by the council on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years.

In a statement after the vote, Netanyahu said that Obama had “not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the U.N., it has colluded with it behind the scenes.”

He called the resolution “shameful” and said Israel would not abide by its terms.

For the first time since the U.S. election, Netanyahu stated clearly that he looked forward to working with Trump, “to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”


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