Top Democratic donor Haim Saban blasts UN resolution abstention, Kerry speech

Josefin Dolsten

Haim Saban arriving before the start of the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 19, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Haim Saban arriving before the start of the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Democratic megadonor Haim Saban said he was “deeply disturbed” by the Obama administration’s decision not to block a recent United Nations Security Council resolution slamming Israeli settlements.

The Israeli-American entertainment mogul also criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech following the resolution in a statement to Variety magazine.

“I am deeply disturbed by the Administration’s decision not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s subsequent one-sided speech,” Saban said in a statement describing himself as a “long-standing Democrat” and defender of President Barack Obama’s Israel policies.

“These actions undermine our country’s long-standing support for Israel and harm any long-term prospects for peace, which is in our national interest,” he added. “Further, I urge the Obama Administration to stay true to our decades-old policy by vetoing any additional biased UNSC resolutions that may be introduced at the Paris summit later this month, and refrain from issuing any other policy statements that would only make things worse.”

Saban was a leading backer of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign against Donald Trump.

The resolution adopted last month — with 14 votes in favor and only the U.S. abstention — called Israeli settlements “a flagrant violation of international law” that damage the prospects of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Six days after the Security Council passed the resolution, Kerry laid out six principles that the U.S. believes must govern the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a speech in which he rebuked Israel’s “pernicious policy of settlement construction.”

American presidents have long protected Israel from extreme censure at the U.N. As recently as 2011, Obama vetoed a similar resolution on settlements that like this one was adamantly opposed by Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Kerry’s speech and accused the U.S. of engineering the passing of the anti-settlement resolution.

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