United Nations Security Council 311 (R).
(photo credit: Mike Segar / Reuters)
The United States on Wednesday addressed the near-complete condemnation of Israeli settlement policy by UN Security Council members the day before and its own vetoes of UNSC resolutions critical of Israel.
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from the rooftops of the Security Council is not going to change the
situation on the ground," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters at
the State Department Wednesday. Israelis and Palestinians, she
explained, must "get back to the table and settle these issues together,
and that's the way we are going to have a lasting, stable peace."
a pointed comment by Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who without
naming the US specifically accused Washington of believing things will
"miraculously" sort themselves out on their own, Nuland said "there are
no miracles to be had here."
"There is hard work to be done by the parties, supported by the international community," she added.
Israel's Foreign Ministry responded harshly to the international criticism, saying that “interfering with Israel’s domestic affairs, including on issues which are to be solved within the framework of direct talks, does not enhance the status they [the EU countries] wish to be granted.”
Moreover, the ministry suggested that the council members focus on putting an end to the bloodletting in Syria, helping democracy take root in Arab countries and stopping the danger to world security posed by the Iranian nuclear threat.
“If, instead of contributing to stability in the Middle East through these steps, they invest their efforts in inappropriate bickering with the one country where there is an independent justice system that knows how to handle lawbreakers of all kinds, they are bound to lose their credibility and make themselves irrelevant,” the ministry said.Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor told Army Radio on Thursday that the settler "price tag" policy is terrorism, but that Israel does not need an external organization to condemn the attacks.
The round of criticism in the Security Council centered on the
announcement by Israel early this week of new construction tenders for
building in the West Bank. Though Nuland explained Washington "declined"
to join statements condemning the new settlement building in the
Security Council, it nonetheless opposed the move.
The US silence at the UN, she said, "doesn't change the fact that our
longstanding policy remains that we don't recognize the legitimacy of
the continued Israeli settlements." Washington, she explained, doesn't
think "statements in the UNSC are the way" to get Israelis and
Palestinians back to negotiations, which she said is "the best way to
deal with this issue of land [and] settlement."
A statement released on Tuesday by the four current EU
members of the UN Security Council – France, Britain, Germany and
Portugal – forcefully condemned Israel’s recent announcements of
building in the territories and east Jerusalem.
“All settlement activity, including in east Jerusalem, must cease
immediately,” the statement said, calling on Israel to reverse these
steps, and saying announcements of continued construction “send a
The statement also slammed “the disturbing escalation of violence by
settlers,” saying they were “deliberately provocative actions” designed
to aggravate tensions.
The statement welcomed Israeli condemnations of the “price-tag”
violence, and called on Israel to fulfill its commitments to bring the
“perpetrators to justice and to put an end to impunity.”
The statement continued: “The package of measures announced by Prime
Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu in response to settler violence goes in
the right direction. We look forward to seeing the results of these
measures, and to seeing those behind the violence punished to the full
extent of the law.”Herb Keinon also contributed to this report.