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George Mitchell: Obama 'Would Have Been Wise' to Veto UN Sanction on Israel

Image: George Mitchell: Obama 'Would Have Been Wise' to Veto UN Sanction on Israel

President Barack Obama (AP Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 09:27 PM

President Barack Obama "would have been wise" to veto the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements last week, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, said Tuesday.

"I do think, if I might make a few other points on this issue, that President Obama would have been wise to veto this resolution," Mitchell told Jacob Soboroff on MSNBC. "Not because of the policy implications, but because of the timing and the circumstance that it leads to with respect to trying to get the parties together."

Mitchell, 83, a senator for 15 years, was Obama's special envoy to the Middle East from 1995 to 2001.

If he did not veto the resolution, President Obama should have at least postponed it — especially since a new administration was taking office next month, Mitchell added.

The Security Council voted 14-0 on Friday to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United States abstained on the issue.

Obama has come under heavy fire for the move — and some Republicans have threatened to cut federal funding for the United Nations until it revoked the resolution.

But Mitchell blasted Obama's critics, saying the administration's call for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians has been a staple of American foreign policy for decades.

"Every American president, since the beginning of settlements 50 years ago, from Johnson and Nixon, down through Bush and Obama, has opposed Israel's policy on settlements," he told Soboroff.

He also slammed those who accused the president of failing to "protect Israel as other presidents have at the U.N. Security Council" — saying those comments were "completely false."

"Much is being made of it that is false," Mitchell said.

He is co-author of the new book, "A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East," with Alon Sachar.

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President Barack Obama "would have been wise" to veto the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements last week, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, said Tuesday.
settlements, Palestinians, veto, U.N.
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2016-27-27
Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 09:27 PM
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