Bibi to Amb. Haley: "You Lit a Candle of Truth–You Dispel the Darkness" - The Jewish Voice
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Bibi to Amb. Haley: “You Lit a Candle of Truth–You Dispel the Darkness”

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The resolution called on “all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem,” and demanded that countries “comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.” The Council’s other 14 members, including France and Britain, all voted in favor. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution Monday denouncing President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel earlier this month. By voting against the resolution, the US used its veto power as a permanent member of the UN Council for the first time in more than six years.

The resolution called on “all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem,” and demanded that countries “comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.” The Council’s other 14 members, including France and Britain, all voted in favor.

According to a report in The Guardian of London, the unanimity of the rest of the UN council was a stark rebuke to the Trump administration over its unilateral move earlier this month, which put an end to decades of international consensus.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution did not specifically mention the US or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem”.

Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, addresses the Security Council at a December 18th meeting on the situation in the Middle East. “Every other country in the world has the right to designate its capital city. But when it comes to Israel, somehow this most basic national right is questioned and condemned. We thank the United States for standing with Israel and staying loyal to the truth,” Danon said. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

In an effort to keep Washington from exercising its veto power, the text did not mention the US by name, saying instead it “deeply regrets recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem”.

Francois Delattre, France’s ambassador to the UN, said his country regretted the US decision over Jerusalem. “This draft resolution confirms an international consensus on Jerusalem that has been built over decades,” said Delattre.

A spokesman for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, responded to the veto by saying it was “unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it”.

The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UN security council resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city’s final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as “an insult” that would not be forgotten. “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” she said.

Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, briefs the Security Council. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

“It’s scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts,” she added. “The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council.”

“Given the chance to vote again,” said Haley to the Council, “I can say with complete confidence, we would vote no and exercise our veto power.”

Palestinian leadership held its first meeting on Tuesday to discuss responses to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, said: “It is paradoxical that while we were waiting for a peace plan from the US, the administration instead decided to further obstruct peace and delay its realization.

“The US decision encourages Israel to persist in its crimes against the Palestinian people and to continue its occupation of our territory. No rhetoric will hide this complacency in prolonging the occupation,” he added.

Jerusalem, the eternal, undivided capital of Israel

Riyad al-Maliki, foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), said in a statement on Monday: “The member states of the General Assembly will be asked to vote on the same draft resolution that we presented to the Security Council, which the US has blocked with the veto.

“In the General Assembly, the US will not be able to use this privilege,” he added.

Since the 1970s, when it first began exercising its veto power, the US has shot down some 42 Security Council resolutions relating to attempts by Muslim and European countries to falsely condemn Israel for its mere existence as a Jewish state.

Turkey, a country that has long held a palpable animus towards Israel is also leading efforts to pass a resolution through the UN’s General Assembly.

Speaking before the vote, the UK’s ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said the text was in line with London’s position on Jerusalem as an issue that must be resolved through negotiations.

Also on Monday, Al Jazeera reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella of Palestinian political parties, announced it would no longer accept the US as a partner in the peace process.

“We will not allow the US to be a mediator or a partner in the peace process,” said PA president Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas also promised to seek full membership for Palestine at the UN, despite a previous push failed to do so in 2011.

“We will take political, diplomatic, and legal actions against Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem,” said Abbas.

The US veto came ahead of a planned trip by Vice President Mike Pence, to Jerusalem on Wednesday that was set to take place amid a deep rupture in US-Palestinian relations, according to a report in the Guardian.

However, Pence announced on Monday night that he was postponing the trip until February, citing the imminent congressional votes on tax reform, set to take place in the House and Senate starting on Tuesday. “The vice-president is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line,” his spokeswoman said.

Abbas’s Fatah party had called for a day of demonstrations in the West Bank to coincide with the Pence trip. Thus far, the outcry in the West Bank and Gaza as well as the 22 Muslim countries in the Middle East in opposition to Trump’s acknowledgement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been underwhelming to say the least.

Political pundits and commentators around the globe had predicted that the entire Arab Middle East would explode like a powder keg with non-stop and unprecedented displays of violence directed against the US and Israel. With the exception of some rocket fire aimed at Israel’s southern cities and towns by the Hamas terror organization that is based in Gaza and some demonstrations in the West Bank and a few scattered Muslim countries, the reaction to Trump’s statement on Jerusalem has been rather muted.

Following the veto, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu posted a recorded video message thanking U.S ambassador to the U.N Nikki Haley, ‘Thank you Ambassador Haley, On Chanukah, you spoke like a Maccabee. You lit a candle of truth and dispelled the darkness,’ said Netanyahu, ‘One defeated the many, and the truth defeated the lies,’ he added.

Ahead of the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon harshly criticized the resolution, saying that 100 UN votes would do nothing to change the fact that Jerusalem “is, has always been and will always be” the capital.

“Every other country in the world has the right to designate its capital city. But when it comes to Israel, somehow this most basic national right is questioned and condemned. We thank the United States for standing with Israel and staying loyal to the truth,” Danon said.

Ambassador Danon noted that Jews around the world are now celebrating the holiday of Chanukah. “It seems that some of those who wish us well have forgotten exactly why we celebrate Chanukah. Chanukah is about the liberation of Jerusalem…It is about reinstating Jewish sovereignty more than two-thousand years ago over our capital, Jerusalem.”

Also on Monday, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – applauded U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and the Trump Administration, for vetoing a proposed UNSC resolution calling for the withdrawal of President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The 14 other member-states voted in favor of the Egyptian resolution.

The vote comes less than two weeks after President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and marks the first time since the presidential elections that the U.S. has exercised its veto power in the Security Council. Ambassador Haley denounced the resolution as an insult, and noted that the U.S. “will not forget this.”

Orthodox Union President Mark (Moishe) Bane stated:

“We strongly applaud Ambassador Nikki Haley and the Trump Administration for defending its decision and for once again standing by its ally, Israel. Jerusalem has been the political, cultural and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years, and it is truly shameful for the international community to once again attempt to deny this.”

Orthodox Union Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament stated:

“Coming almost exactly one year after the prior Administration abstained from an anti-Israel resolution in the Security Council (Res. 2334) – the veto cast by Ambassador Haley, and her powerful statement that this Administration would have cast a veto one year ago, is a welcome affirmation that the U.S. is standing strongly by Israel.”

By: Fern Sidman
(TPS, INN, the Guardian)

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