WATCH | Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer reacts to U.S. decision not to block U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States told Circa he believes President-elect Donald Trump should consider withdrawing funds from the United Nations after the Obama administration chose to allow a recent U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
“I think it would be very good for the new administration to take a serious look at what they want to do with their money,” Ron Dermer said in an interview Wednesday night, citing a lack of support in the U.N. for Israeli and U.S. interests.
The ambassador also suggested Trump's hand could be emboldened by bipartisan unhappiness in Congress with the U.N. vote.
“There are voices in Congress, bipartisan voices, who are wondering if it should be business as usual at the U.N. again when they are so hostile to Israel and U.S. interests around the world,” he said.
Trump has tweeted out criticisms of the U.N. in the past, saying as recently as last Monday, “The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”
Trump also tweeted out support for Israel in the wake of the U.S. decision not to veto the Security Council resolution condemning Israel, calling its success a “big loss.”
The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
One of the voices in support of the U.N. move is Secretary of State John Kerry, who defended the U.S. decision in a speech on Wednesday, claiming that it was "the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians."
Dermer said he appreciated the intent behind the secretary’s words, but added that, in his opinion, Kerry wasn’t the authority on what was right for the embattled country.
“I do respect him. And I believe he’s a friend of Israel. And I think he believes he is doing what’s right for Israel. But the people who have to make the decisions about ultimately what is right for Israel, about our security needs, about our vital interests, are the people of Israel.”
Regardless of Kerry’s words, Dermer said he was looking forward to working with the incoming Trump administration on a strategy for how the two countries should proceed in light of the resolution.
“We look forward to having those discussions with the president-elect,” Dermer said.
The ambassador also said Israel will share proof with Trump that the Obama administration not only abstained from the U.N. resolution vote, but encouraged the resolution itself, something Kerry has denied.
"We will present that evidence to the new administration and they can choose to share it with the American people," Dermer said. "It's sensitive. It's a matter between two governments. We're obviously not going to share it with the outgoing administration because they were behind it. But we will share it with the incoming administration."