Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein issued the following urgent statement:
ZOA urges President Obama and UN Ambassador Samantha Power to veto the (now postponed) anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-peace, racist resolution that the UN Security Council (UNSC) had initially planned to vote on today. The proposed resolution would make all of the Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem in the lawful, millennia-old Jewish homeland suddenly “have no legal validity” and “a flagrant violation” of international law; would require Israel to halt construction in these areas; makes false statements about international law; falsely claims that these Jewish communities are a “major obstacle”; calls on all nations to discriminate against Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem; and would require Israel to return to indefensible 1949 Armistice lines (misleadingly called “1967 borders”).
ZOA praises President-elect Donald Trump for condemning the anti-Israel UNSC resolution, and the President-elect’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for working relentlessly to try to stop this anti-Israel resolution.
For the following reasons, the proposed resolution must be vetoed – and Congress and President-elect Trump should declare that they will end all funding to the UN and Palestinian Authority (“PA”) if the resolution comes to a vote and passes:
- The proposed resolution drastically changes U.S. policy and harms the peaceful transition to the new U.S. administration: Failing to veto the proposed resolution would dramatically change and destabilize U.S. and international law and policy, and thus would violate President Obama’s pledge to assure a peaceful transition to the incoming Trump administration.
As liberal Democrat Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz noted when a similar resolution was proposed in 2011: “the real reason the U.S. should veto this ill-conceived resolution is that it is inconsistent with U.S. policy, which has long advocated a negotiated resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.” (“The U.N. Gangs Up On Israel – Again,” by Alan Dershowitz, Wall Street J’nal, Jan. 26, 2011.)
- The UNSC resolution harms the cause of peace and direct negotiations: This one-sided anti-Israel resolution damages the cause of peace. The resolution was prepared by the Palestinian Authority to avoid entering into direct peace negotiations with Israel. The resolution enables the PA/PLO to continue its efforts to destroy the Jewish State, instead of sitting down to negotiate real peace.
As Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon accurately said, the proposed UNSC resolution “will do nothing to promote a diplomatic process, and will only reward the Palestinian policy of incitement and terror.”
Liberal Democrat Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz explained: “The only way forward for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is bilateral negotiations between the two parties. . . . [A UN] resolution undermine[s] such efforts by encouraging the Palestinians to believe that direct negotiations — and the mutual sacrifices they would entail — are unnecessary. . . . It would also make it more difficult, if not impossible, for the Palestinian Authority to accept anything less than that already given them by the UN — which would in turn guarantee the failure of any realistic negotiations.” (“Dershowitz: Obama, Don’t Destroy the Peace Process by Turning It Over to the UN,” Algemeiner, Nov. 1, 2016.)
Similarly AIPAC explains: “Anti-Israel [UN Security Council] resolutions . . . will likely divide the parties rather than bringing them together. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians will only be durable if both parties negotiate in good faith and implement a mutually agreed-upon solution. The United States must veto any one-sided resolutions and press the Palestinians to return to direct, bilateral negotiations with Israel.” (AIPAC Legislative Agenda: Support Direct Negotiations.)
- The Resolution Violates the Oslo Accords: The Oslo accords, signed by the PLO/Palestinian Authority require the PA to engage in direct negotiations with Israel instead of turning to the UN. (See “Obama Must Veto Anti-Israel UN Resolution On “Settlements,” ZOA, April 11, 2016.) In addition, the Oslo accords authorize Israeli building in the zones (e.g., “Area C”) under Israeli control in Judea/Samaria.
- The resolution turns international law upside down: The Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria are legal under longstanding binding international law and agreements, and prior carefully-crafted UN Resolutions (242 and 338). Suddenly declaring that the Israeli and Jewish presence in these areas is has “no legal validity” and is “a flagrant violation” of international law violates over a century of jurisprudence. (See “Obama Must Veto Anti-Israel UN Resolution On “Settlements,” ZOA, April 11, 2016.)
The 1920 San Remo Conference that drafted the League of Nations Charter designated Judea/Samaria for Jewish settlement. This determination was enshrined as a sacred trust for the Jewish people in the British Mandate for Palestine, and was later reaffirmed by Article 80 of the UN Charter. The binding international law that Judea/Samaria is an area designed for Jewish settlement has never been superseded by an internationally binding agreement.
The 1949 Armistice agreements (after Jordan invaded Israel and illegally occupied Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem from 1948-1967), specifically stated that the 1949 Armistice lines were “without prejudice” and were not international boundaries. When Israel recaptured Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem in 1967, the original legal status of land designated for Jewish settlement was restored.
U.N. Resolution 242 does not require Israel to return all territories that Israel recaptured during the defensive 1967 war. Moreover, Res. 242 conditioned even a partial return of captured territories on “termination of all claims of belligerency” and “acknowledgment of the sovereignty . . . of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Resolution 242 gives non-state Palestinian Arabs no claims or rights. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas (which would win an election in the PA if it were held today), Hezbollah, etc. have never met UN Res. 242’s conditions of terminating all claims of belligerency towards Israel, and recognition of and secure borders for Israel. Instead, these groups have made it clear that their goal is Israel’s destruction.
- The UNSC resolution falsifies existing international law: In Orwellian fashion, the resolution portrays its drastic changes to international law – which would make legal Jewish communities “illegal” – as merely “reaffirming” existing international law. (Of course, if existing international law were really what the proposed PA/PLO resolution says it is, the PA/PLO would not need the resolution.)
- The UNSC resolution is racist, anti-Semitic and inhumane and promotes anti-Semitic BDS, in conflict with US and State anti-BDS laws. The resolution would require uprooting 700,000 Jews from their homes, schools, farms, businesses and synagogues, which would anti-Semitic and a humanitarian disaster. The 10,000 Jews who were uprooted from their homes in Gaza 11 years ago are still homeless.
The resolution also calls on all nations, in all their dealings, to “distinguish” between Israel and Judea/Samaria/eastern Jerusalem. This is essentially a cleverly worded call for anti-Semitic boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Jewish businesses, academics and cultural institutions, and conflicts with anti-BDS provisions in the U.S. federal trade law and State anti-BDS laws.
- The proposed resolution would require Israel to return to the indefensible 1949 Armistice lines. The 1949 Armistice agreements specifically stated that these lines that have no international legal force. The lines would make Israel only 9 miles wide and would subject Israel’s heartland to constant rocket attack from its longest border. The lines would also divide the united city of Jerusalem in two. When this previously occurred (1948-1967) after Jordan invaded Israel and captured Israel’s old city, Jordanian Arab snipers used the hills of eastern Jerusalem to shoot at Jewish civilians going to and from work and Jewish children going to and from school every day in western Jerusalem.
Abba Eban aptly called these indefensible 1949 lines “Auschwitz borders.”
- The Jewish People Have The Millenia-Long Right To Live In Judea/Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem: Indeed, the Hanukah events that the White House celebrated just a few days ago took place in Judea/Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem. (See “Obama’s Hanukkah Speech Should Remind Him-Veto UN Resolutions Declaring Israel ‘Illegal Occupier,’” ZOA, Dec. 16, 2016.)
- The UNSC resolution falsely portrays Jewish communities as a “major obstacle” to peace when the real obstacle to peace is the Palestinian Authority’s incitement of terror against Jews and refusal to engage in direct negotiations: Jewish communities only comprise a small portion (approximately 2%) of Judea/Samaria. The Jewish communities do not interfere with a possible future Palestinian-Arab state. Approximately 99% of Palestinian Arabs in Judea/Samaria live in the areas of Judea/Samaria that are under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and have their own schools, government, media, etc.
The real obstacles to peace are that the Palestinian Authority continues to teach hatred and encourage violence and knife intifadas against innocent Jews – the PA even pays millions of dollars to terrorists who murder Jews; and that the PA refuses to sit down with Israel for real, direct negotiations. These real obstacles will grow even worse if the proposed UNSC resolution is voted upon and passes.