Vote on Egypt-Promoted Anti-Israeli Settlement UN Security Council Resolution Delayed, After Netanyahu Pressures Sisi
A vote on an anti-Israeli settlement UN Security Council resolution that was originally supposed to take place on Thursday has been postponed, “potentially indefinitely,” Reuters reported, citing a Western diplomatic source.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that the vote on the Egypt-promoted resolution was delayed due to pressure applied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.
Early Thursday morning, before the vote postponement was announced, US President-elect Donald Trump said America’s UN delegation should veto the resolution.
“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” Trump stated. “This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
On Wednesday, Netanyahu also called for a US veto of the resolution.
The resolution in question says Israeli communities established in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967 have “no legal validity” and represent “a flagrant violation” of international law, constituting “a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” It goes on to demand that the Jewish state “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Wednesday described the resolution as “the peak of hypocrisy.”
“It will do nothing to promote a diplomatic process and will only reward the Palestinian policy of incitement and terror,” Danon said on Twitter. “It is absurd that at a time when thousands are being massacred in Syria, the Security Council is devoting time and energy to convene and discuss condemning the only true democracy in the Middle East.”
Furthermore, Danon said, “We expect our greatest ally [the US] not to allow this one-sided and anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the Council.”
In an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs think tank on Wednesday, former Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold wrote, “[The UN] is obsessed with Israel while ignoring the dangerous actions of Iran.”
The Hebrew news site nrg quoted an Israeli diplomatic official as saying on Thursday, “This could be the last attempt by President [Barack] Obama to ‘do something’ against the settlements. Israel expects the US to stand by its longstanding and cross-government policy of [calling for] direct [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations — just like President Obama said in his 2011 UN speech. If the US doesn’t impose a veto, this would be a violation of its commitment. This would mark an abandonment of its traditional position, a moment before the change of administrations.”
Also on Thursday, leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged the Obama administration to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Resolutions like the one being considered on Thursday “represent the latest misguided effort to enlist the Security Council to provide an escape route for the Palestinians to evade their obligations to negotiate directly with Israel to reach a final agreement ending the conflict,” CPMAJO Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement.
Moreover, they pointed out, “today, on the eve of a new US administration, is not the time to alter the course of a sound and consistent US policy at the UN Security Council.”
The Anti-Defamation League also called for a US veto of what ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said was a “biased, unconstructive” resolution.
As reported by The Algemeiner, there has been significant bipartisan concern in Washington that Obama “won’t have Israel’s back” at the UN during the remainder of his time in office.
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, though the relationship has at times been strained over the decades. Israel-Egypt ties have improved since Sissi took power in Cairo in 2013, after ousting his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel and Egypt share a number of regional interests, including the containment of Iran and combating ISIS in Sinai and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Watch a video below of Netanyahu discussing the resolution: