Mayor Bill de Blasio — who has repeatedly cast himself as a fierce defender of Israel — refused Thursday to take a position on the UN resolution condemning the Jewish state for expanding its settlements.
“I don’t really know what I think about the details of the resolution,” the mayor said at an unrelated press conference in Times Square. “What I know is it’s besides the point. The solution has to come from … Israelis and Palestinians. That’s the core of the matter. And right now that’s not happening.”
In past years, de Blasio has said it is his duty to speak out on Israel’s behalf.
“I will work every day … in support of the state of Israel because we know time and again the state of Israel is under attack,” he said at the Queens Jewish Community Council on Aug. 25, 2015.
De Blasio said that because Israel doesn’t have “enough friends,” New York must advocate for it.
“We must speak up,” he said. “We have to be one of the places that does.”
The mayor made similar comments the previous year.
“I am the mayor of the city … with the largest Jewish population anywhere on this Earth. By definition, I’ve said it many times, it’s not only normal and natural [to support Israel], I consider it my responsibility to stand up for the state of Israel,” de Blasio said on July 14, 2014.
City Hall press secretary Eric Phillips later issued a statement, saying:
“Mayor de Blasio said clearly that the U.N.’s role in the peace process has never been helpful. Like many at home and abroad, the Mayor also acknowledged that the ultimate consequences of the U.N.’s resolution cannot be predicted and that the effect of the U.S.’s abstention is unclear. What is clear is that the U.N.’s anti-Israel positioning in the Middle
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