Bill de Blasio Criticizes ‘Anti-Israel’ UN Resolution
NEW YORK – Distinguishing himself from much of the Democratic Party’s Congressional leadership, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday refused to condemn the Obama administration’s move the United Nation Security Council while criticizing the international body’s anti-Israel action.
“The U.N.’s anti-Israel positioning in the Middle East does nothing to advance the peace process,” City Hall Press Secretary Eric Phillips said in a statement, released almost a week after the unprecedented vote took place.
“Mayor de Blasio said clearly that the U.N.’s role in the peace process has never been helpful. Like many at home and abroad, the Mayor also acknowledged that the ultimate consequences of the U.N.’s resolution cannot be predicted and that the effect of the U.S.’s abstention is unclear,” Phillips said. “In the Mayor’s view, the pathway to peace does not run through Geneva but through direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.”
De Blasio’s comments appear to fall in line with Governor Andrew Cuomo. “If the ultimate goal is peace, then direct negotiations are the only option — not one-sided resolutions at the UN Security Council,” Cuomo tweeted last Friday.
Members of the City’s Congressional Delegation, however, were more outspoken in also expressing their opposition to the Administration’s move.
“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution,” incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. Schumer also criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Middle East peace as an unintended move that has emboldened extremists on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also said she was “extremely disappointed” by the UN vote and “by the Administration’s decision not to veto.” Congresswoman Nita Lowey described the abstention as a “stain on the United States’ long and consistent record of defending Israel against one-sided UN Security Council resolutions,” adding that she was “profoundly disappointed,” as did Rep. Jerry Nadler, who represents the largest Jewish district in the nation. Rep. Eliot Engel called the resolution a “parting shot out the door” by President Obama.
In January 2014, weeks after he assumed office, de Blasio told Jewish American leaders at a closed AIPAC event in Manhattan that “City Hall will always be open to AIPAC… When you need me to stand by you in Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I’ll answer it happily ’cause that’s my job.”
AIPAC, it should be noted, described Obama’s move at the UN as “shameful” and urged U.S. elected officials to “renounce the recent action taken by this administration and to begin the work of repairing the damage done to the cause of peace and the U.S-Israel relationship.”
The NYC Mayor, who is running for reelection next year, also defied AIPAC on the Iran nuclear deal last year.