As Shabbat Sets in, Major Jewish and Other Pro-Israel Groups Mobilize Against Anti-Settlement UN Security Council Resolution
Just hours before Shabbat began on Friday, major Jewish and other pro-Israel groups mobilized in an ultimately futile effort to thwart the passage of an anti-Israeli settlement UN Security Council resolution that was set to be voted on.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations was among the groups leading the call for President Barack Obama to veto the resolution — which, among other things, demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities” in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“This is the moral thing, the right thing, and the imperative thing for the president to do in keeping with the veto he exercised on a similar resolution in 2011,” CPMAJO Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement.
“This is the wrong signal at the wrong time,” Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — said about the resolution. “President Obama should heed the decision of Egypt, the largest Arab nation in the world, and a key stakeholder in the Middle East, which withdrew this resolution only yesterday.”
“Such a draconian move at the 11:59 mark of his presidency would overturn decades of US policy in the region…[and] will only succeed in scuttling flickering hopes for a peaceful two-state solution, embolden extremists and terrorists and needlessly further complicate President-elect [Donald] Trump’s future peace efforts.”
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) encouraged its members to contact the White House to tell Obama to veto the resolution.
“Efforts to bypass direct bilateral negotiations only serve to hinder the peace process,” AIPAC said.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “A resolution of this kind is counterproductive, and does nothing to enhance the role of the United Nations in resolving the Middle East conflict. It is extremely disappointing that the Security Council would entertain yet another unbalanced and one-sided resolution against Israel.”
Zionist Organization of America National President Morton A. Klein said his group “strongly urges the Obama administration to veto the falsehood-filled, viciously anti-Israel, antisemitic, racist ethnic cleansing resolution.” He also condemned Obama’s “despicable ‘lame duck’ plan to knife Israel in the back at the UN, by abandoning longstanding US policy of vetoing anti-Israel resolutions.”
Pastor John Hagee — the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) — said, “By an overwhelming margin the American people want their President to stand with Israel at the UN. If he does not do that today, he betrays his own past statements, the will of the Congress and the very people he purports to represent.”
David Bernstein – president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) — said, “All those who support a peaceful resolution to the conflict should oppose this resolution. If the Palestinians feel that the UN will deliver Israel for them, why would they negotiate?”
“By treating all construction as equally problematic, the UN will paradoxically make it harder for future Palestinian, Israeli and American leaders to negotiate,” he continued. “It limits their room to maneuver.”
Incoming Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York stated, “The proposed resolution does not bring us any closer to the goal of a two-state solution. Peace must come from direct negotiations between the two parties…Whatever one’s views are on settlements, anyone who cares about the future of Israel and peace in the region knows that the U.N., with its one sidedness, is exactly the wrong forum to bring about peace. I have spoken directly to the administration numerous times, as recently as this morning, and in the strongest terms possible urged them to veto this resolution.”