American, Israeli Envoys to UN Blast ‘Insult’ and ‘Hypocrisy’ of Vetoed Security Council Resolution Opposing Jerusalem Recognition
The United States on Monday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution drafted by Egypt that opposed “recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem” — a reference to President Donald Trump’s announcement on December 6 recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital.
The remaining 14 council members — including several states who maintain strong bilateral relations with Israel — voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted text.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, expressed disgust at the resolution following the vote. “What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult,” Haley said. “It won’t be forgotten.”
Regarding the veto wielded by the US — a right reserved for the five permanent members of the Security Council — Haley said, “We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance.”
“The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council,” Haley said.
The US ambassador also asserted that “the adoption of Resolution 2334 one year ago was a hindrance to peace efforts between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
That resolution — the passage of which was enabled by the abstention of the Obama administration — determined that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
Haley said on Monday, “On the surface, Resolution 2334 described Israeli settlements as impediments to peace. Reasonable people can disagree about that, and in fact, over the years the United States has expressed criticism of Israeli settlement policies many times. But in truth, it was Resolution 2334 itself that was an impediment to peace.”
In remarks to the Security Council on Monday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that those countries “who voted for today’s resolution have only reaffirmed the UN’s decades-long double standard when it comes to Israel.”
Danon declared that those states which voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution were “guilty of blatant hypocrisy.”
“Every other country in the world has the right to designate its own capital city, but when it comes to Israel, this most basic national right is questioned,” Danon said, before thanking Trump, Haley and Vice President Mike Pence for proving that “the US does not back down from what it right.”
Like Haley, Danon noted that “almost exactly one year ago, this body adopted the shameful Resolution 2334 that had the audacity to designate Israel’s presence at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, as a ‘flagrant violation of international law.'”
“Those words pierced the hearts of Jews everywhere,” he said, citing the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson’s description of the UN as a “house of darkness and light.”
“One small candle of truth can turn darkness in to light,” Danon said. “Tonight, the seventh night of the festival of Hanukkah, Jews will celebrate their eternal bond with Jerusalem.”
The UN draft resolution vetoed on Monday 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.”
Addressing the Security Council ahead of the vote, UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov said that Trump’s decision on Jerusalem had been destabilizing.
“In the wake of the decision of the United States … the situation has become more tense with an increase in incidents, notably rockets fired from Gaza and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces,” Mladenov claimed.