Congressman Jim McDermott has condemned Israel supporters and Israeli officials over their hostility to America’s abstention on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. In an interview with MSNBC, the outgoing Democratic Representative from the State of Washington said, “What we’re seeing is the beginning of a war on the American government.”
The UN vote, held last Friday, was controversial before it was even taken. First, President Elect Donald Trump intervened to try and stop it. He called the Egyptian President directly about the matter. After this, Egypt managed to pull the vote from the Security Council, but it was reintroduced by New Zealand and Senegal. Friday’s vote was 14-0 in favor of the condemnation of Israeli settlements constructed over the pre-1967 borders.
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Since the vote, both Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have publicly condemned President Obama for America’s abstention. Both Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer have gone so far as to accuse the President of having been behind the vote.
Israel supporters have gone after President Obama for what they feel was a deliberate assault on Israel by the outgoing President who has less than a month left in office. Many American politicians, including Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, have called for defunding the UN until it revokes the resolution.
Well Jim McDermott is not happy with all of this. The retiring Congressman did not hold back when he spoke on MSNBC on Monday.
“We’re seeing the air war right now, and we’re seeing all these tweets and all this kind of innuendo and all these half-stories, and all this stuff to create tremendous tension so that when the president comes in on the 20th, he can begin the ground war, which will be when his appointees begin to carry out his actions in the departments across the government, ” he said.
“They never could get 100 percent out of Barack Obama, ” added McDermott, “so they decided to attack him and use him as the reason for why Trump should come in and give them everything they want.”
“That is unacceptable in a democracy where the people are entitled to know what’s going on, ” he said. “You can’t have people coming here and saying we’re going to hide the ball from you and we’re going do something or we’re going to accuse you of something and not tell you.”
Well since Mr. McDermott is retiring, no one can accuse him of trying to make political gains at Israel’s expense. There is something very freeing about being a retiring politician. What you say no longer matters so you can actually speak your mind for a change.
And the Congressman does have a point. It is highly unusual and not in keeping with diplomatic protocols for one nations’ leader and its ambassador to another to make such hostile comments about the other country’s leader. This is especially odd considering that Mr. Obama has less than a month left in office and Donald Trump has already made it clear that he will change things once he takes office.
Mr. Netanyahu did not need to be so hostile in his reactions to the vote and seems to be using this for a personal vendetta against President Obama.
That being said, since it is clear that America will have closer ties with Israel after Donald Trump takes office Congressman McDermott’s comments also went to far. Comparing the attacks on Barack Obama to a “war on America” makes no sense. Friends of Israel are angry with the outgoing administration and not the American people.