U.S. vetoes U.N. Security Council resolution on Jerusalem recognition… but General Assembly slaps U.S. recognition of Jerusalem

Posted on: December 30th, 2017 by tgregory

U.S. vetoes U.N. Security Council resolution on Jerusalem recognition… 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHANIE KEITH /
GETTY IMAGES

(JTA) — The United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have required the Trump administration to backtrack on its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The other 14 member-states of the Security Council voted in favor of the one-page document submitted by Egypt, which insists that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded.

The United States and the four other permanent members of the council — China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France — can veto a resolution.

Following the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel released a video in which he thanked Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, for her words of support and the U.S. veto of the resolution.

“Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi,” he said. “You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley.”

President Donald Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy early last month when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and began the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The Palestinians and Arab and Muslim countries expressed outrage, and much of the world came out against the move. After the decision, Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a Security Council resolution.

The text of the draft “affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void, and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.” The resolution also called on U.N. member states to “refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council.”

Speaking to the Security Council before the vote, Haley said she would not discuss Trump’s call on the embassy, saying it’s a decision that a “sovereign nation” such as the United States has “every right to do.”

Haley instead brought up a U.N. resolution condemning settlement construction by Israel that the Obama administration allowed to pass last December by abstaining rather than exercising its veto.

“Given the chance to vote again on Resolution 2234, I can say with complete confidence that the United States would vote no; we would exercise our veto power,” Haley said. “For decades, Israel has withstood wave after wave of bias in the U.N. and its agencies. The United States has often stood beside Israel. We did not on Dec. 23, 2016. We will not make that mistake again.”

Also prior to the vote, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, told the Security Council that even the passage of such a resolution would not change the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

“Members of the council can vote again and again — for a hundred more times,” he said. “It won’t change the simple fact that Jerusalem is, has been and always will be the capital of Israel.” •

 

… but General Assembly slaps U.S. recognition of Jerusalem

(JTA) — The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution rejecting any recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the wake of the pronouncement by President Donald Trump two weeks ago.

The vote at Thursday’s emergency session was 128 in favor and 9 against, with 35 abstentions. The United States had vetoed a similar resolution by the U.N. Security Council favored by the 14 other countries.

General Assembly resolutions are nonbinding, but are intended to carry moral weight as an expression of the international community.

Yemen and Turkey drafted the General Assembly resolution, which affirms that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

It also calls on the United States “to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.”

The resolution also noted that “Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions.”

The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, called the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “an aggression towards the Palestinian people” and added that it “affect(s) the status of the United States as a mediator of peace.”

“History records names, it remembers names, the names of those who stand by what is right and stand up to peace, and it remembers those who speak falsehoods,” Mansour said in a reference to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley saying earlier in the week that she would “take names” of the countries that vote for the resolution.

The Turkish ambassador to the U.N., Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu, called Trump’s threat to withhold development money from countries that vote for the resolution “bullying.”

“We will not be intimidated. You can be strong but that does not make you right,” he said.

Haley said a vote for the resolution would show “disrespect” to the United States by other U.N. countries.

“When we make generous contributions to the U.N., we also have expectation that we will be respected. What’s more, we are being asked to pay for the dubious privileges of being disrespected,” Haley said.

“If our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our investment in other ways,” she added. “This vote will be remembered.”

Haley questioned why Israel remains in the United Nations.

“To its shame, the United Nations has been a place that is hostile to Israel,” she said. “Israel has chosen to remain in this institution because it is important to stand up for yourself.”

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, called the fact that the meeting was taking place “shameful.” He said the United States “simply stated a fact” when it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Jerusalem is the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people. This is a fact that simply cannot be refuted,” he said. “King David declared Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish people 3,000 years ago.”

Danon produced a coin dating to 67 A.D. reading “Freedom of Zion” that he said provides clear evidence of the Second Temple and “proves the ancient connection of Jews to Jerusalem.”

“Those who support today’s resolution are like puppets. You are like puppets pulled by your Palestinian masters,” he said.

Prior to the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Today is a very important day in Israel and very important outside of Israel. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, whether or not the U.N. recognizes it. It took 70 years until the United States officially recognized this and it will take years for the United Nations to recognize that as well.”

“The attitude toward Israel from many countries on all continents is changing outside the U.N. and will eventually seep into the walls of the U.N. House — the House of Lies. The State of Israel rejects this vote out of hand even before it was accepted. Jerusalem is our capital, we will continue to build there, and embassies of countries, headed by the United States, will move to Jerusalem.”

Following the vote, Netanyahu posted a statement on social media decrying the resolution.

“Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution. Jerusalem is our capital. Always was. Always will be.  But I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this ‘theater of the absurd.’”

He thanked Trump and Haley for their “stalwart support” of Israel and “the truth.”

Along with Israel and the Unites States, the countries that voted against the resolution are Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

Among those that voted in favor are the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Greece and Brazil. Australia, Canada, Poland and the Czech Republic were among the nations that abstained. •