NEW YORK — The U.S. on Monday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved despite President Trump’s declaration earlier this month that the city is Israel’s capital.
While not specifically mentioning Trump’s Jerusalem decision, today’s resolution stated “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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the Egyptian-drafted resolution an “insult,” maintaining that “the United States will not be told by any country where to put our embassy.”
“It’s scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts,” Haley added. “What does it gain the Palestinians to put roadblocks to negotiations?”
“A peace process that denies Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not a peace process.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to thank the Trump administration for vetoing the resolution:
Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, @nikkihaley pic.twitter.com/gm84B2trwK
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 18, 2017
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon slammed the resolution, saying “members of the Security Council can vote another hundred times to criticize our presence in Jerusalem, but history won’t change.
“While the Jewish people celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah that symbolizes the eternal connection to Jerusalem, there are people who think that they can rewrite history. It’s time for all countries to recognize that Jerusalem always was and always will be the capital of the Jewish people and the capital of Israel.”
Danon pointed to a seeming double standard: “Each country has the right to establish its own capital, but when it comes to Israel, there are people who think that they can cast doubt on our decision. We are grateful to the U.S. for its steadfastness in standing with the State of Israel, and the truth.”
Besides the U.S., every other member of the 14 party Security Council voted in favor of the resolution.
Today’s draft resolution text seems telling. It sought to nullify “decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem.”
The phraseology seems hypocritical for a UN Security Council that passed an anti-Israel resolution last year, due to the Obama administration’s abstention, attempting to alter the status of Jerusalem.
The text of that resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.” In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas.
Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state. In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.