Feinstein backs Obama on UN vote

Feinstein backs Obama on UN vote
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A leading Democratic, Jewish senator has come to President Obama’s defense after the United States abstained from a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution that condemns Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.

“President Obama’s refusal to veto today's UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements sends a strong message that the United States still supports a two-state solution,” Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general This week: Democrats, White House set for infrastructure, budget talks MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement Friday.

Obama has faced an onslaught of backlash from both Republicans and Democrats after breaking from longstanding U.S. policy and allowing the Security Council to vote on the resolution.

The Security Council passed the resolution in a 14-0 vote Friday. It condemns the settlements as a “flagrant violation” of international law that have “no legal validity" and demands a halt to "all Israeli settlement activities," which it says “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution."

The United States has veto power in the Security Council and has used it for similar resolutions in the past.

In her statement, Feinstein said ending settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is an “absolute necessity” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I’ve watched with growing concern the increase in Israeli settlements over the years, where approximately 400,0000 individuals now live,” she said. “I believe the expansion of settlements has but one goal: to undermine the viability of a two-state solution.”

She also called on Israel to end the settlements’ expansion.

“I’ve met with displaced Palestinian families who have been kicked off land they’ve lived on for many generations,” she said. “The ill will that results from these settlements is a significant roadblock to peace, and I again call on Israel to end their expansion so that a two-state solution remains a possibility.”