There were plenty of takeaways from the redacted Mueller report, most of which dealt with Russian collusion (there wasn’t any) and obstruction of justice (it depends on whether you follow the opinion of special counsel Robert Mueller or Attorney General William Barr as to what constitutes obstruction).
However, one of the more interesting items buried in the report dealt with Donald Trump’s fight against an anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations before he was even in the White House.
It seems like a dim memory now, but U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 was one of the most controversial issues during the transition period between the Obama and Trump administrations.
Resolution 2334, originally introduced by Egypt in December of 2016, condemned “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions … Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines.”
As Hank Berrien notes over at The Daily Wire, the resolution “essentially stated that Judea and Samaria and part of Jerusalem do not belong to Israel.”
The resolution reaffirmed “that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
It also demanded “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard,” and condemned villages built in Judea and Samaria — lands that have historically been part of Israel since biblical times.
Ordinarily, the United States, Israel’s most staunch defender at the U.N., could kill off such a resolution in the Security Council with one vote. But therein lay the problem: The Obama administration planned to pass on voting either way, a Brutus-like act.
Trump and his team likely weren’t going to convince the Obama administration that it was being rash, so they tried to get the Russians to vote against it. Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and, like the United States, also has veto power. Thus, Trump’s point men on the issue — his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser — worked on getting it defeated, including trying to persuade the Kremlin to vote against the resolution.
“According to Flynn, the Transition Team regarded the vote as a significant issue and wanted to support Israel by opposing the resolution,” the Mueller report read.
“On December 22, 2016, multiple members of the Transition Team, as well as President-Elect Trump, communicated with foreign government officials to determine their views on the resolution and to rally support to delay the vote or defeat the resolution. Kushner led the effort for the Transition Team; Flynn was responsible for the Russian government.
“Minutes after an early morning phone call with Kushner on December 22, Flynn called [Soviet Ambassador Sergey] Kislyak. According to Flynn, he informed Kislyak about the vote and the Transition Team’s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution.”
The president-elect, the report said, also worked on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about the resolution his country had introduced, leading him to postpone the vote.
Ultimately, however, “Malaysia, New Zealand Senegal and Venezuela resubmitted the application” the next day, the report said. Flynn worked on Kislyak to see if Russia would vote against it.
“When Flynn again spoke with Kislyak, Kislyak informed Flynn that if the resolution came to a vote, Russia would not vote against it,” the report said. “The resolution later passed 14-0, with the United States abstaining.”
Mind you, the section was more about detailing contacts between the Trump campaign/transition team and the Russian government (no, still no collusion).
However, there’s an important point buried in there. No, they weren’t able to kill Resolution 2334. Yes, the embassy is now in Jerusalem.
That says it all, no?
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