The voting results are displayed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared "null and void" on December 21, 2017 in New York City..
(photo credit: SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES/AFP)
‘Shame on U(N):’ Right and Left come out against decision against Jerusalem
Politicians from across the political spectrum came out against the United Nations vote Thursday condemning the United States for committing to moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
“Shame on U(N),” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein tweeted.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman wrote on Facebook that “we should remember this is the UN about which our first ambassador to the UN Abba Eban once said: ‘If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the Earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.’”
“There’s nothing new in the UN,” Liberman added. “It’s good that the US is the lighthouse of morality, a light in the darkness.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called it “another empty vote by the UN.”
“President [Donald] Trump’s statement did not create a new reality, it didn’t change facts on the ground. The president spoke truth to the Palestinians. There can never be peace predicated on the division of Jerusalem. It won’t happen. Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years, and now truth is spoken out loud,” Bennett said in a briefing to foreign diplomats ahead of the vote.
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said “the UN lost its dignity today. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, always was and always will be. No hypocritical vote will change that. The decision made today will be erased from the pages of history.”
128 countries defy Trump, vote for UN resolution slamming his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, December 21, 2017 (Reuters)
Lapid called it “unfortunate” that Israel’s European allies “gave in to pressure and stood with supporters of terror and genocide instead of standing with the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay recommended that the UN “deal with issues in which it can make a change for the better,” because “Jerusalem is our capital before and after the resolution.”
However, there was not a total consensus in the Knesset.
Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh said that “all of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s travels in the world are apparently [carried out] to avoid the [police] interrogation room, because there’s still a big majority in the international diplomatic arena that believes that the Palestinians, like all other nations, deserve a place under the sun and self-determination.
“Tonight’s vote by the majority of the nations of the world against Trump’s declaration, despite the pressure and threats, is a diplomatic slap to Trump and Netanyahu and a clear call to the international community for peace and for the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Odeh added.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On also said that Netanyahu is using Trump’s declaration and the UN vote as a distraction from the investigations into allegations of corruption against him, adding that “for a decade he has done nothing to promote the two-state solution.”
Gal-On said that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not because Trump declared that he will move the embassy, but because the Knesset, Supreme Court and government are in it. The UN vote also won’t change the reality that Palestinians live in east Jerusalem and the only way to change reality is in our hands, not in declarations or votes, but in reaching a two-state solution.”
The Anti-Defamation League condemned the General Assembly emergency special session on “Israeli illegal actions” in east Jerusalem as “absurd”.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said, “While today’s session was held to critique the US government’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the session was yet another chapter in the UN’s long record of single-minded focus on Israel. It is notable that countries engaged in severe crises – including Yemen, Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Bangladesh, among others – spoke from the podium and declared Israel and Jerusalem the leading issue in the world.
“The General Assembly once again has failed to play a constructive and fair-minded role in encouraging peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Instead of helping to promote engagement, it has deepened the divide,” Greenblatt said.
The J Street advocacy group, however, said, “The result of today’s hugely lopsided vote by the United Nations General Assembly is the latest sign that the overwhelming majority of the international community rejects the Trump administration’s senseless decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital prior to a peace agreement.
“Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and it should be internationally recognized as such in the context of an agreed two-state solution that also establishes a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem. This vote was not about dictating to the US where it can put its embassy, but about reaffirming that no country should unilaterally alter the city’s status in advance of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians,” J Street continued.
“The Trump administration must stop threatening to take extreme retaliatory measures against the United Nations or against the many countries that object to the US decision on Jerusalem. Instead, it should wake up to the reality that making sensitive foreign policy decisions simply to please a right-wing political base can and will result in serious diplomatic isolation and loss of international credibility,” J Street said.
American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris called the General Assembly vote “deeply disheartening.”
“Once again, UN member states have chosen to succor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s misguided strategy of internationalizing the conflict instead of pressing him to negotiate directly with Israel,” Harris said. “Collecting UN resolutions that do not advance peace one iota complicates an already complex conflict that direct negotiations can resolve.”