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U.N. General Assembly Criticizes Recognition of Jerusalem

by George Baumgarten, United Nations Correspondent, posted Dec 31, 2017

 

     The United Nations General Assembly, acting after the failed effort in the Security Council, today overwhelmingly passed a Resolution warning all states against any change in the “status” of Israel’s capital. By a vote of 128 votes to 9, with 35 abstentions,  the U.N.’s chief legislative body expressed “deep regret” at recent decisions concerning that status. The resolution was in response to the recent U.S. recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, as opposed to repeated Palestinian assertions of its illegitimacy, and U.N. insistence that Jerusalem remains a “final status” issue.

 

     The Resolution was tabled by Turkey and Yemen, and supported by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, League of Arab States and other bodies and factions with the General Assembly.

 

     The Palestinian case was presented by Dr. Riad Al-Malki, Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority. His text has so far been released only in Arabic, but he did speak to the press corps in English, after the session.  He asserted that “Jerusalem is and will remain always the capital of Palestine”. Asked if he would accept an arrangement where the city was the capital of two states, he said that would have to be arranged, negotiated, etc. This is essentially the U.N. position: Jerusalem is a “final status” issue.

      Ambassador Danny Danon spoke for Israel, saying it was “…shameful for the United Nations that I must stand before you today”. Noting that King David declared Jerusalem his capital over 3,000 years ago, he held up a coin (copies of which were distributed to all delegations) inscribed “Freedom of Zion” and said to date from 67 C.E., the year the revolt against Rome began, ultimately leading to the destruction of the Second Temple, three years later.

 

     Danon also noted that in calling East Jerusalem illegal for Israel, “…in reality it (the resolution) is designating the Western Wall, the foundation of our holiest site, as illegal for the Jewish people”.  He also said that those who vote

 for the Resolution are telling the Palestinians that they can “continue rejecting peace”. “No U.N. resolution”, he said, “can rewrite history”.

 

 

 
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