Defense

Dem lawmaker: Israel's accusations start of 'war on the American government'

A retiring Democratic lawmaker warned Monday that Israel's accusations that the United States was behind a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel are "the beginning of a war on the American government" that President-elect Donald Trump will carry out.

"What we're seeing is the beginning of a war on the American government," Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said Monday on MSNBC.

"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 [Jan. 20], he can begin the ground war, which will be when his appointees begin to carry out his actions in the departments across the government."

The Security Council voted 14-0 on a resolution Friday that condemns Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. The United States abstained from the vote, allowing the resolution to pass and breaking longstanding U.S. policy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer have both accused the Obama administration of being secretly behind the resolution.

Dermer said Monday that Israel has evidence that it will present to Trump, though he did not produce it when pressed in an interview with CNN. He said it would be up to Trump administration to decide whether to make it public.

President Obama and Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship, and Obama's decision to abstain from the vote has been seen as a final conflict after years of clashes.

In the MSNBC interview, McDermott said Israel is attacking Obama as a pretext for pushing Trump to adopt friendlier policies than Obama had.

"They never could get 100 percent out of Barack Obama, so they decided to attack him and use him as the reason for why Trump should come in and give them everything they want," he said.

He also said Americans are being "subjected to a campaign of anxiety production" as Israel works to get what it wants.

"And it really is very, very disturbing to watch," he added.

He also blasted Dermer for not making the evidence he claims to have public.

"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."

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