NEW YORK — The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday passed an anti-Israel resolution clearly intended to rescind President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a speech earlier this month.
Today’s nonbinding resolution came after the U.S. on Monday vetoed what would have been a binding United Nations Security Council resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved. The U.S. does not have veto power at the General Assembly.
Below are six anti-Israel outrages inside the brief UN resolution, presented in the order in which the statements appear within the resolution text:
1 – The resolution wrongly implies that Israel’s ties to Jerusalem come from “the acquisition of territory by force.”
The resolution reaffirms “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,” falsely implying that Israel went to war to acquire the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. The statement also misleadingly implies that Israel’s only connection and claim to those areas come from the “acquisition of territory by force.”
The West Bank contains ancient Jewish cities such as Hebron, Beit El, Shiloh and more. It houses the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Joseph’s Tomb and Rachel’s tomb, some of the holiest sites in Judaism. Eastern Jerusalem includes Judaism’s holiest site – the Temple Mount – as well as the Old City.
Jews maintained a historic presence in Jerusalem, including in the eastern sections, until they were forced to leave the Old City en masse in 1948 and eastern Jerusalem fell under illegal Jordanian occupation.
Jordan illegally occupied and annexed eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel recaptured the lands in a defensive war in 1967. Known as the Six Day War, the conflict was launched after Arab countries used the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem to stage attacks against the Jewish state. Israel did not initiate the war. Israel was forced to defend itself in a war waged by Arab nations with the express goal of annihilating the Jewish state. Israel won against all odds.
If Israel acquired those territories by force, as the U.N. resolution wrongly implies, who exactly are the rightful owners of eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank? In 1988, more than 20 years after Jordan lost its illegal control of the territories, the Kingdom of Jordan officially renounced its illegitimate claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and unilaterally recognized terrorist Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” seeking to acquire those lands.
In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authorities in those areas.
2 – The resolution misleadingly implies Trump’s Jerusalem recognition interferes with final-status negotiations.
The text stresses “that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions.” The resolution does not explain how Trump’s Jerusalem recognition in any way impedes future final-status negotiations.
It is illogical to argue that the presence of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem impacts the PA’s statehood plans. Nor does Trump’s recognition of Israeli rights to Jerusalem impede Palestinian aims given that all previous peace deals allowed for Israeli control of key city sections. Trump’s recognition leaves open the possibility of the Palestinians having a future capital in Jerusalem.
The only thing standing in the way of the PA having a state with a foothold in Jerusalem is the Palestinians’ own abject refusal to accept numerous statehood offers while rejecting Israel’s very existence.
Indeed, the resolution ignores that the Palestinians have turned down every Israeli statehood offer, each of which came with a shared capital in Jerusalem. Those offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007, and more offers were made in 2008 and reportedly in 2014. In each of these cases, the PA refused generous Israeli offers of statehood and bolted negotiations without counteroffers.
Far from blocking their statehood claims, Trump’s embassy move might serve to pressure the PA into negotiations, understanding that momentum is moving away from their direction if they don’t act.
3 – The resolution seems to be telling the U.S. where it should locate its embassy.
The text expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,” and “calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.”
As a sovereign nation, the U.S. should be able to relocate its embassy to any city with approval of the host nation. Trump further explained in his recognition speech, “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.”
4 – The resolution ignores illegal Palestinian construction that has already altered the status of Jerusalem while implying that Trump’s Jerusalem recognition alters the city’s status.
Implicitly referring to Trump’s Jerusalem recognition, the text states that “decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect.” As explained in #3, Trump’s announcement does not alter the status of Jerusalem.
The U.N., meanwhile, is once again ignoring the largely untold story of Palestinians building entirely illegally on Jewish-owned property in the same areas, as first documented by this reporter in 2007.
The illegal Palestinian construction has worked to generate facts on the ground, creating de facto Palestinian neighborhoods inside peripheral Jerusalem that are virtual no-go zones for Israeli civilians. The illegal housing has impacted previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Numerous Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals designated these very areas future Palestinian territory due to the large concentrations of Palestinians living in them.
5 – Today’s resolution ignores the U.N.’s own binding resolution. which allows for Israel to retain some of the so-called pre-1967 territories.
Today’s resolution expressly calls for “an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967” – meaning full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Israel already unilaterally evacuated the Gaza Strip, resulting in a disastrous outcome in which a terrorist organization has assumed full control.
Today’s text leaves out the intent of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, the binding resolution pertaining to the West Bank, which calls on Israel to withdraw under a future final-status solution “from territories occupied” as a result of the 1967 Six Day War. Resolution 242 does not call for a withdrawal from “all territories,” a designation deliberately left out to ensure Israel’s ability to retain some territory for security purposes under a future deal.
The Jewish Virtual Library explains:
The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from “all the” territories occupied after the Six-Day War. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant “that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands.” The Arab states pushed for the word “all” to be included, but this was rejected. They nevertheless asserted that they would read the resolution as if it included the word “all.” The British ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: “It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear.”
6 – The text outrageously calls for a “just and lasting peace in the Middle East” partly based on the so-called Arab Peace Initiative, which actually threatens Israel.
The text advocates a “just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative.”
This reporter previously exposed how the Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi Peace Initiative, threatens Israel:
The Saudi Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, states that Israel would receive “normal relations” with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount.
The West Bank contains important Jewish biblical sites and borders central Israeli population centers, while the Golan Heights looks down on Israeli civilian zones and twice was used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.
The Saudi plan also demands the imposition of a non-binding U.N. resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the “earliest practicable date.”
Palestinians have long demanded the “right of return” for millions of “refugees,” a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel’s destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics.
When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel’s borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution.
While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle its inhabitants elsewhere.
There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs; Arabs living full-time in Jordan; and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.
According to Arab sources close to the Saudi Initiative, Arab countries are willing to come to an agreement whereby Israel absorbs about 500,000 “refugees” and reaches a compensation deal with the PA for the remaining millions of Palestinians.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.