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Boca Raton Jewish leaders criticize Obama administration's decision not to back Israel

US did not veto United Nations vote
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Posted at 7:51 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 19:51:36-05

South Florida Jewish leaders are voicing their concerns about the United States’s decision not to support Israel in a recent United Nations vote.

The issue centers around settlements in the West Bank. The UN voted to restrict Israel from building more settlements on the contested land. The US could have vetoed the decision.

Rabbi Dan Levin called the move a “terrible mistake.”

He added the state department falsely accused Israel of stopping the peace process in the Middle East.

“Where the Obama administration, I think, gets it wrong is that while settlements may be an obstacle to peace, they are not the obstacle to peace. The situation there is so unbelievable complex,” said the Temple Beth El leader.

Rabbi Efrem Goldberg said Secretary of State John Kerry added insult to injury when he explained why the US didn’t back Israel in the vote.

He wanted to make it clear Israel is not the bad guy.

“Long before there was a settlement, there was a lack of peace. It’s an easy distraction, it’s a red herring. It is not the core issue. The core issue is Israel’s right to exist and having neighbors who are willing to make peace with her,” said Goldberg, from Boca Raton Synagogue. 

President-elect Donald Trump jumped at the opportunity to throw his support behind Israel. Both rabbis said Trump will bring change, but time will tell whether it’s better.

US Congress has historically shown bi-partisan support for the country’s only true ally in the Middle East.