Ambassador Danny Danon addressing the Security Council .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel hopes US President-elect Donald Trump will reject biased UN resolutions and focus on resuming direct talks with the Palestinians, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the Security Council on Tuesday.
“With this new administration comes the hope that the US will return to its policy of rejecting unfair and biased Security Council resolutions and promoting direct and genuine dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians,” Danon told the council.
The 15-member UNSC was holding a dialogue on the Middle East that was open to all UN member states. The bulk of the talk focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and last month’s approval of UNSC 2334, which called for a halt to Israeli settlement activity and all Jewish building over the pre-1967 lines, calling such activity illegal.
Danon told the council that the resolution encourages Palestinians to commit acts of terrorism against Israel, such as the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem earlier this month in which four soldiers were killed.
“This resolution declared that our presence in Jerusalem is illegal. It encouraged the Palestinians to continue to avoid negotiations and inspired the terrorist in Jerusalem,” Danon said, holding up a photo of the four victims, all of whom were soldiers in their young 20s.
“This was the result [of Resolution] 2334: Shir Hajaj, Yael Yekutiel, Erez Orbach and Shira Tzur,” Danon said. “They were murdered by a Palestinian who was led to believe that he could use terrorism and violence to remove the Jewish people from Jerusalem. He will not succeed.”
He reminded the council that Jewish history in Jerusalem includes the Old City and the Western Wall, which are beyond the pre-June 1967 line, and dates back some 3,000 years to King Solomon. The Temple was built by King Solomon on the “same Temple Mount which this council refuses to call by its historic name.”
According to Danon, members thought they were telling Israel to stop settlement activity, but they were really telling the Palestinians they could “continue to spread the lies that the Western Wall is not sacred to the Jewish people.”
He noted that, after the council vote, Fatah posted a cartoon on its Facebook page that “showed a dagger in the shape of a map of Israel colored with the Palestinian flag. Not Judea and Samaria; what some call the West Bank. All of Israel.
Under the dagger was a pool of blood, and next to it, it said, “Thank you,” and listed each council member that voted for the shameful resolution,” Danon said, adding that such resolutions only encourage the Palestinians not to return to the negotiating table.
In response to the resolution, Danon said, Israel suspended $6 million from its annual contribution to the UN.
“This amount represents the portion of the UN budget allocated to anti-Israel bodies, which represents the UN’s double standard when it comes to Israel,” Danon said. Among those bodies is the Division for Palestinian Rights, which focuses on delegitimizing Israel.
Palestinian Ambassador the UN Riyad Mansour called on the council to force Israel to comply with the settlement resolution, which he described as “pro-peace, pro-international law, pro-two-states and thus pro-Palestine and pro-Israel.
“Rather than taking a step for peace, Israel has preferred to persist with its empty rhetoric and legal acrobatics to justify its continuing illegal colonization of the Palestinian land and oppression of the Palestinian people, in flagrant contempt of the law and international community,” Mansour said.
The Palestinians have refused to hold direct talks with Israel until it halts all construction in settlements and east Jerusalem.
Israel in turn has called for talks without preconditions.
Mansour told the council that “halting settlement activities should never be seen as a concession or pre-condition; it is about fundamental respect for the law. It is time for the full implementation of Resolution 2334 and all of its provisions.
Follow-up must begin immediately and all must uphold their obligations,” Mansour said.
He added that it was the Palestinians who have said “yes” to every peace effort. The time has come for Israel to accept a twostate solution based on the 1967 borders, Mansour said.
“The 1967 borders are the delineating line between conflict and peace. We are fast approaching a point of no return. Implementation of Resolution 2334 is the way back from the brink,” he said. “The international community must act now to revive the possibility of peace.”
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