Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, US, December 8, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)
The UN Security Council is poised to vote Monday to void US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and to disavow Israeli sovereignty over the city.
Such a measure is likely to garner the support of 14 of the 15 Security Council members, but is unlikely to pass because the US is one of five countries having veto power in the council.
Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the PA might push to see if it could disqualify the US from using its veto power with regard to this particular resolution, due to a conflict of interest. But it is presumed that the PA would be unlikely to disqualify the US in that manner.
A majority show of support would still be considered a diplomatic victory as it would create a visual image – with all Security Council members’ hands raised save for the US – of Trump’s America, isolated on the international stage.
Palestinian leader Abbas says Trump's 'crime' over Jerusalem precludes US peace role (Reuters)
Abbas has said that the Jerusalem declaration disqualifies the US as a mediator, and called on the UN to lead any peace process with Israel.
Should the council resolution fail, it is expected that the Palestinians and the Arab states pushing for UN condemnation would then turn to the General Assembly.
The UN Security Council has not approved a resolution solely regarding Jerusalem since 1980.
The draft text circulated by Egypt on Sunday was careful to make use of language already used in the 1980 resolution or in past resolutions that touched on Jerusalem.
The resolution stated that it affirmed 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void, and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council; and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council.”
It demanded that “all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”
US President Donald Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announces embassy to relocate
UN bodies, including the General Assembly and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization have approved multiple texts disavowing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.
The Security Council approved such language only last year when it passed Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlement activity.
Just last month 151 UN member states voted to disavow Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Earlier this month the council held an emergency meeting on Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, in which 14 countries condemned the statement.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “As Jews around the world are celebrating Hanukka – the liberation of Jerusalem two-thousand years ago – the Palestinians continue to try to reinvent history. 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,” Danon said.
Palestinians and the international community hold, however, that east Jerusalem will be the future capital of the state of Palestine. They have also insisted that the overall question of Israeli sovereignty over any portion of Jerusalem, including the western part, can only be determined in a final-status agreement for a two-state solution.
Separate from a debate on the Jerusalem resolution, the Security Council on Monday is also expected to hold its monthly debate on the Middle East and the Palestinian question.
On Sunday, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein sent a letter to his counterparts around the world asking them to change their stance on Jerusalem.
“The announcement by Trump offers us the opportunity to begin a new chapter in the way the international community relates to this special city. I urge you, as the speaker of your parliament, to take action in the realm of your capacities and to stand up for the historical record. Endorse the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by your country and by the international community,” he wrote.
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