The fireworks in New York come just three weeks after Mr. Obama organized a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to add momentum to his drive to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
A relaunch of talks may have seemed tantalizingly close last month, but not any more.
Wednesday's rancorous rhetoric was part of a Security Council debate on the Goldstone report, an investigation commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to look into alleged war crimes and human rights violations committed during the Gaza fighting. The report, which came out last month but was originally sidelined by the Palestinians, faults both Israel and Hamas for disregarding civilian life – but comes down harder on Israel.
The report now returns to the Human Rights Council, for two days of debate Thursday and Friday on a Palestinian-sponsored resolution focused on Israel's alleged violations of Palestinian rights. The resolution, cosponsored by Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Tunisia, addresses not just the Gaza offensive but more recent events in East Jerusalem, where tensions have risen over Israeli restrictions on worship at Muslim holy sites.