UN to vote on resolution condemning Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

The Egyptian UN Security Council motion rejecting Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is almost certain to be vetoed by the Americans.

By Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

The 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is expected to vote on Monday and overwhelmingly pass a draft resolution that rejects US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The draft will then most certainly be vetoed by the United States.

The one-page text submitted by Egypt condemns Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  The chances of the bill’s passing are considered highly unlikely since all five permanent members of the UNSC, including the US, have veto power. The wording of the draft does not specifically mention Trump or the US, and while it is unlikely to be adopted, a veto will further isolate Trump on the issue.

The draft resolution asserts that Jerusalem is a matter “to be resolved through negotiations” and declares that “any decisions or 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”

UN Security Council resolution a ‘non-starter’

Middle East Analyst Amotz Asa-El told World Israel News (WIN) that the Security Council resolution is “a non-starter.” ,

“America is going to veto. Egypt agreed to sponsor ‘with a wink’ and they are just going through the motions of backing the Palestinians.  It is definitely not a priority,” Asa-El told WIN. He said the Palestinians’ attempt to use the UNSC as substitute for US mediation is bound to fail because Israel will not agree to any interlocker other than America.

Asa-El has little hope that the peace talks can be renewed in the current atmosphere. He told WIN, “There is a total lack of trust. Popular sentiment on both sides is very skeptical and disillusioned. This is no foundation for the give and take needed in peace negotiations.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Saturday slammed the Security Council bid as another Palestinian attempt to rewrite history. “No vote or discussion can change the clear reality,” said Danon, adding, “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, now and always. We will continue to fight for the historical truth.” Israel declared sovereignty over Jerusalem after unifying the city during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Jewish State claims Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

If and when the UNSC resolution is defeated, the Palestinians say they will take the matter to the UN General assembly. A Palestinian statement read, “We will work within the UN General Assembly for the annulment of this unjust and lawless decision.” General Assembly decisions are non-binding.

Palestinians ‘just going through the motions’

Former Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told WIN, “The Palestinians are just going through the motions. They are grand standing.  There is no chance the draft will pass because of the US veto power. They need to demonstrate a fighting spirit. They want to embarrass the US by forcing Washington to use its veto. They need to show that Jerusalem is on the agenda. Once the Security Council rejects the resolution, the Palestinians will take the matter to the UN General Assembly. With the US no longer a partner for them, the Palestinians will also push back by launching a global campaign to recognize east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.”

Ayalon added, “I suppose we prefer this diplomatic campaign to Palestinian leaders spending their efforts inciting violence on the ground.”

Back in December, in the waning days of the Obama administration, a UN Security Council resolution adopted in December 2016 declared it “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.” The incoming Trump administration urged the government to veto the motion at the time.  Instead, the US voted to abstain, allowing the resolution to pass.