The United States hardly stood up to Israel in the latest meeting of the U.N. Security Council, where a historic, but largely symbolic, motion was passed condemning the apartheid state’s illegal settlement-building.
But Israel’s seething anger towards its ally, for what it perceives as betrayal, has prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to summon the U.S. ambassador to Israel on Christmas day.
While the envoys of 10 other nations were also summoned by the Israeli foreign ministry, harsher words were reserved for Washington after Friday’s vote.
"Over decades American administrations and Israeli governments disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the security council was not the place to resolve this issue," Netanyahu said, as reported by Reuters.
"We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace farther away. As I told John Kerry on Thursday, 'Friends don't take friends to the Security Council'," he added.
Friday’s resolution was passed only because the United States broke its long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power, abstaining instead.
"According to our information, we have no doubt the Obama administration initiated it (the resolution), stood behind it, coordinated the wording and demanded it be passed," Netanyahu told the cabinet.
The other envoys summoned included 10 of the 14 countries that voted for the resolution with embassies in Israel — the U.K., China, Russia, France, Egypt, Japan, Uruguay, Spain, Ukraine and New Zealand.
Local media also reported Sunday that Netanyahu ordered his ministers not to travel to the 14 countries that approved the U.N. resolution, forbidding them from even meeting their counterparts from those countries.
On Friday Israel also announced that it would recall its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, cancel a planned state visit by the Senegalese foreign minister, as well as cut off all aid to the impoverished West African country.
While many have criticized the motion for being both toothless and too late, Israel’s retaliation suggests it may help further delegitimize the country's system of apartheid, and could provide material support for Palestine's complaint to the international criminal court about the settlements.