Two charges need to be cleared up about U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 that passed last month when the United States abstained
First it is not a condemnation of Israel but of its settlement policies, and it is not one-sided; it also harshly criticizes of Palestinian incitement and terrorism. The American refusal to veto the measure was intended to tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his government’s accelerated settlement construction and inflammatory rhetoric were dangerously threatening chances for a two-state solution.
Second, this is not a unique vote. In fact, it is about the 78th time the United States has abstained or voted yes on UNSC resolutions critical of Israel. Unlike all previous presidents, it is Barack Obama’s first and only, compared to 21 times, the most, under Ronald Reagan.
The most outrageous was when Reagan joined forces with Saddam Hussein to condemn Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor. Reagan also cast votes opposing Israel extending its law to the Golan Heights; calling for Israel’s nuclear facilities to be put under international safeguards; bombing Tunisia and condemning the invasion and occupation of Lebanon. Moreover, in response to the Osiraq raid, the Reagan administration also halted arms deliveries to Israel.
Richard Nixon allowed passage of 15 anti-Israel resolutions, including condemnation of Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem.
Here’s the tally of resolutions other presidents did not veto that were opposed by Israel in some form: Lyndon Johnson (7), Gerald Ford (2), Jimmy Carter (14), George H.W. Bush (9), Bill Clinton (3), George W. Bush (6) and Obama (1).
For full details on all the votes since 1963, click here.