US Blocks UN Resolution
The United States of America remained firm in its stance on the status of Jerusalem by blocking a UN resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s declaration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the decision to put the US embassy in the city.
The UN resolution on the status of Jerusalem was vetoed by the American ambassador, Nikki R. Haley against support by every other council member including US allies. The US was outnumbered 14 to 1.
Nikki Haley was furious over the UN resolution and expressed strong statements against it. The American ambassador described it as an ‘insult’ that won’t be forgotten and asserted that the US won’t be told where it can put its embassy.
Haley said, “Today, for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty.”
The one-page resolution, drafted by Egypt, reiterated the UN position on Jerusalem, rejecting Israel’s sovereignty claim over Jerusalem, the holy city revered by Christians, Jews and Muslims. The resolution also reiterated the Council’s view that no country should set up an embassy in Jerusalem, and that the city’s status was an issue to be resolved by Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel Hails US Stance on Jerusalem Status
The firm US stance on the status of Jerusalem was praised by Israel. In a video statement posted on Twitter moments after the vote, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, compared Ms. Haley to the Maccabees, Jewish fighters whose capture of Jerusalem in the second century B.C. is commemorated during Hanukkah.
“You lit a candle of truth,” he said. “You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies.”
Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. However, Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector.
The Palestinian Reaction
The Palestinian government was not happy with the US veto of the U.N. resolution on the status of Jerusalem. PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, who was set to meet Vice President Mike Pence on a visit to Jerusalem this week, canceled that meeting in protest. Abbas said he will seek a U.N. upgrade for “Palestine,” which was recognized in 2012 by the General Assembly as a non-member observer state.
In addition, Riyad H. Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, denounced the US veto and told the Security Council that the Trump administration’s decision on Jerusalem reflected its bias toward Israel and could no longer play an impartial role in any Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Controversial Trump Announcement
President Trump’s speech announcement this month on plans to move the embassy from Tel Aviv unleashed criticism and protests in the region. Saying that it’s “the right thing to do,” President Trump’s stance triggered angry demonstrations and backlash around the world.
Reports show there have been at least 27 rocket attacks from Gaza and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators.
Israel captured East Jerusalem along with the West Bank and Gaza in the Six-Day War in 1967, but annexed the city as its united capital in a move not recognized by the international community. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future State.