UNSC expected to vote on anti-settlement resolution

Draft resolution condemns Israel’s settlement activity, demands that it “immediately and completely” cease all settlement activities.

February 17, 2011 02:14
2 minute read.
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Betar Illit 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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NEW YORK – A draft Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements may come up for a vote at the United Nations later this week, sources said.

The draft resolution, sponsored by 120 countries, condemns Israel’s settlement activity and demands that it “immediately and completely” cease all settlement activities “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem.” The resolution was introduced in order to place the issue before the Security Council’s jurisdiction in January, sources said, but was not brought to a vote at that point.

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The matter was brought to the Security Council despite the opposition of the United States. America’s representatives have repeatedly asserted their belief that the Security Council is not the proper forum for discussions of the peace process, and that bringing the matter up before the international body would not be a “productive step.”

While the US has not explicitly said it would use its veto power over the resolution, its representatives have made clear that America prefers that Israeli-Palestinian disagreements on settlements be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.

Other Security Council members, such as Brazil and France, have expressed support for such a resolution.

J Street’s executive director Jeremy Ben- Ami told The Jerusalem Post that he hopes the US will promote attempts to table or edit the resolution, but that if these efforts fail, he is not in favor of using veto power over it.

“The US should head off the need for a UN move on this resolution,” Ben-Ami said. “It can do that by putting forward a bold and assertive diplomatic initiative. If there were movement on the diplomatic front, there would be no impetus for this resolution in the first place – the resolution is the result of stasis on the diplomatic front.”

According to Ben-Ami, the US should “try to get the language of the resolution adjusted to be exactly what US policy is.”

In other words, he said, the language currently calling settlement activity illegal should be taken out of the resolution, as should its descriptions of Jerusalem.

In the event that the resolution is not taken off the table and the language is not changed, Ben-Ami said, “We believe the US should not veto a resolution in line with the overwhelming majority of America’s political stance on the issue.”

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