The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is set on Thursday to denounce US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
“The assembly regrets the declaration of the president of the United States of America on 6 December 2017 that it was ‘time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel’ and that preparations would start ‘to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,’” stated the latest draft of a resolution before the assembly.Israel, which has a delegation in Strasbourg, where the council’s Parliamentary Assembly has gathered, believes the resolution’s passage is assured, but is hoping to add some amendments.“After the Palestinians destroyed UNESCO through politicization and an obsessive persecution of Israel, and after their ridiculous boycott of the United States, they are now trying to drag the Council of Europe [onto that same platform],” said Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen.He and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) are part of an Israeli delegation attending the parliamentary session.Shama Hacohen charged that the Palestinians are “recruiting extremist elements, some of whom border on antisemitic, to pass resolutions condemning the US and Israel.”With 47 member states, including Turkey, the Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights body. The United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the Holy See have observer status at the council. Israel has observer status at the council’s Parliamentary Assembly, of which the Palestinian National Council is a democratic partner.The resolution on Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian Authority’s push to reaffirm European support for a twostate solution at the pre-1967 lines, as the Trump administration takes a new and broader approach to the resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Such a vote also provides another forum for the international community to declare its refusal to accept any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital outside the context of a final-status agreement.The resolution stated that the “international community as a whole expressed serious concerns about the consequences of this declaration on Jerusalem for the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians and the prospects for a solution to their conflict.“The role of the United States as a serious broker in the peace process was undoubtedly undermined by the declaration of its president on Jerusalem,” the resolution said.“Its future role should be based on a renewed attitude of neutrality in the peace process. In this context, Europe should play a major role in the sponsorship and resumption of the peace process,” it added.The text also affirmed the council’s commitment to a “two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the 1967 borders, which, in view of the new realities on the ground, could be accompanied by limited land swaps, as has recently been accepted by the Arab countries.”It added “that Jerusalem could well become the capital of both the State of Israel and the future Palestinian state, as a result of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”The resolution called on Israel to halt settlement activity and the demolition of Palestinian homes. It also spoke of the need for a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.Lavie said that on Thursday morning the council’s committee on political affairs and democracy will vote on any amendments to the text, before it goes to the Parliamentary Assembly for a final vote.Israel would like to see a paragraph added denouncing Palestinian incitement, including financial support to terrorists and their families.
US President Donald Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announces embassy to relocate