By Michael D. Shear
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at President Barack Obama on Wednesday for what he called the administration’s failure to support Israel at the United Nations, saying the United States had treated its ally in the Middle East with “total disdain and disrespect.”
In two Twitter posts, the president-elect assailed the Obama administration for its decision last week to abstain from a resolution condemning Israeli construction of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Trump’s Twitter posts came just hours before Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to deliver a speech in Washington responding to that criticism.
Trump had pressured Obama to veto the U.N. resolution, injecting himself directly into U.S. foreign policy before he assumes power next month. But the forceful intervention, including a discussion with Egypt’s president, failed to prevent passage of the resolution.
Wednesday’s comments repeated Trump’s assertion that U.S. policy toward Israel will change drastically once he replaces Obama in the Oval Office. Last week, the president-elect described the United Nations as a “club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.” He called that “So sad!” but vowed to negotiate peace in the Middle East despite the last-minute actions of Obama’s administration.
Trump’s comments about Israel came after another Twitter post in which the president-elect complained about what he called inflammatory “statements and roadblocks” from Obama, suggesting that whatever goodwill existing between the two men immediately after the election had disappeared.
It was not clear exactly what Trump was referencing. In a speech on Tuesday in Hawaii to commemorate the attacks on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, Obama appeared to take a veiled swipe at the way Trump campaigned for president, saying that “even when hatred burns hottest and the tug of tribalism is at the most primal, we must resist the urge to turn in. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.”