The United Nation Security Council is considering another draft resolution on Jerusalem, this one seeking to neutralize any move to recognize the holy city as the capital of Israel.
The resolution, drafted by Egypt and circulated among the UNSC’s 15 members, “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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
But although it relates directly to the issue of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Egypt has been careful to avoid mentioning the United States, and the name of President Donald Trump. It would require at least nine votes to pass, and if it makes it to the floor the vote could come as early as Monday or Tuesday, according to The Hill.
But since the United States is one of five permanent members of the UNSC, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will be able to veto this, as well as any other similar resolution.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, strongly condemned the draft. “As Jews around the world are celebrating Hanukkah, the liberation of Jerusalem two-thousand years ago, the Palestinians continue to try to reinvent history,” he said in a statement emailed Saturday night from New York. “No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem has and always will be the capital of Israel. Together with our allies, we will continue to fight, once again, for historical truth.”
The international community is having a great deal of difficulty making its peace with the historic announcement by President Trump earlier this month that he had decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something that should have been done when the state was re-established in 1948. President Trump also announced in that same speech that he was directing the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a process that will undoubtedly take years.
The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, is not having any difficulty with the announcement at all, inasmuch as its leadership has simply decided in response that the members of the Trump Administration are no longer friends and the president’s recognition is “null and void.” The PA’s leading Fatah faction – also led by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas — is calling on its Facebook page and in public media for a “continuation of the intifada” as is Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and its associated Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, both of which are backed by Iran. All three have been working on a reconciliation deal brokered by Cairo.
It is interesting to note that White House officials who spoke to the Associated Press on the eve of Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit this week to Israel and the Middle East, said, “We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel. But as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement,” and, by email, reiterated, “We note that we cannot imagine Israel would sign a peace agreement that didn’t include the Western Wall.”
Israel’s Kann News reported that senior White House officials said that Pence plans to visit the Western Wall on Wednesday as an official visit by the Vice-President, and not as a personal visit, as was done by President Trump.