The 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted on Friday afternoon, December 23, to censure Israel for its settlement activity in Judea and Samaria, the region Jordan renamed “The West Bank” during its two-decade occupation of the territory. Only one member, the United States, abstained from the vote; rather than veto the proposed resolution as the USA has customarily done in the past. The remaining 14 nations supported the resolution.
Members of the UNSC include the five permanent members — the USA, UK, France, Russian Federation, and China — and 10 temporary members voted in for two-year terms. Currently these include: Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. Only Malaysia and Venezuela do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The remaining countries have varying degrees of interactions with Israel, with some having far-reaching accords promoting development, technological and agricultural projects from which they benefit from Israeli know-how.
Egypt had been scheduled to put the resolution on the floor of the UNSC, but US President-Elect Donald Trump persuaded Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to desist from doing so. This merely delayed the vote as Malaysia, Venezuela, Senegal and New Zealand put the proposal up for a vote.
Immediately after the resolution was passed in the UNSC, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he is recalling the ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand and ceasing all development and humanitarian aid projects in Senegal.
The resolution calls on Israel to stop all building activities in all the regions beyond the 1967 ceasefire lines, as if that was an international border and without regard to terms of the Oslo Accords of 1990. The Oslo agreement was signed by both Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, creating the Palestinian Authority and dividing the land into administrative regions, one controlled by Israel, one by the PA and one with conjoint control. I should be remembered that in 1947, well over 50 percent of the area falling under the British Mandate of Palestine was made into an Arab state — Jordan — with the remainder, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, intended as the modern State of Israel.
However, the neighboring Arab states did not agree with the existence of Israel at all and rejected the British offer of further subdividing the land to create a second Palestinian Arab state. They opened war against Israel in 1948 and Israel lost control of Gaza and of Judea and Samaria at the same time it declared its independence.
When war was again waged against Israel in 1967, Israel won back control over Gaza and Judea and Samaria (together with the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights); the Sinai was returned to Egypt in exchange for a peace agreement and the Golan has effectively been annexed. The future of Gaza and Judea and Samaria remain to be determined by direct negotiations with the PA.
According to lawyer Alan Dershowitz, this latest UNSC resolution undermines the possibility for direct negotiations with the PA. It emboldens the PA to bypass negotiations with Israel and petition the UN directly for recognition as a state with the boundaries of that state determined by the UN.
Given that UNESCO has recently passed a resolution declaring that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall are Islamic sites that have nothing to do with the Jewish People, it is unlikely that Israel will accept a UN decree regarding a Palestinian Arab state.
Netanyahu announced that he will not abide by this latest UNSC resolution.
Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security council does nothign to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory’.
A Palestinian spokesman said of the UNSC resolution:
The UN security council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories and claim to stop it is a big slap in the face for the Israeli policies and a strong support to the two-state solution.
Other issues that should be kept in mind are that in 2010, at the request of President Obama and against the wishes of his government, Netanyahu put a stop to all building activities for almost a year in the disputed areas, yet Abbas of the PA did not agree to sit with Israel for peace negotiations. Furthermore, according to the Oslo Accords, the PLO was supposed to amend its charter and recognize the right for Israeli to exist; it never did.
Trump has promised that his interactions with the UN will be very different from those of his predecessor.
JUST IN: Trump vows that "things will be different" in regard to the UN after he is sworn in as president https://t.co/TXSCUIfxEf
Originally from Canada, Sheri is a trauma therapist who has been living and working in Israel for about 40 years. Now retired from clinical practice, she has all the time she needs to write online about her favourite topics: Israel and the television series to which she is addicted. She has her own website: Israel Diaries.