Trump administration is displaying the “principled realism” so lacking during the last administration.

The UN’s Latest Farce on Jerusalem

By —— Bio and Archives--December 21, 2017

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The UN’s Latest Farce on Jerusalem

Just about a year after the Obama administration stood by and allowed a blatantly anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution to pass, the Trump administration vetoed a Security Council resolution on December 18th that sought to invalidate President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In discussing the U.S. veto, Ambassador Nikki Haley reminded the other members of the Security Council who had denounced President Trump’s decision and voted for the resolution that national sovereignty matters.

“The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy”

“The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” she said. “The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.”  She added that “the United States had the courage and honesty to recognize a fundamental reality. Jerusalem has been the political, cultural, and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years. They have had no other capital city. But the United States’ recognition of the obvious – that Jerusalem is the capital and seat of the modern Israeli government – is too much for some.”

Following the U.S. veto of the Security Council resolution, the Palestinians and their enablers pushed for a similar resolution in the UN General Assembly, which passed on December 21st by a vote of 128-9, with 35 abstentions. It declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void” and urged nations to “refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions.” Major European allies, including Britain, France, and Germany, shamefully voted for the resolution. In doing so, they exposed their latent centuries-old anti-Semitism by singling out the Jewish state for special condemnation. Other allies, such as Canada and Australia, at least had the decency to abstain.

UN General Assembly resolutions purporting to buttress the Palestinians’ position are entirely non-binding. They have no more legal impact than the vacuous speeches that have accompanied their passage. The latest resolution passed by the UN General Assembly forum, whose members include many free-riding authoritarian regimes, was a farcical attempt to censure the most powerful democracy in the world, and the UN’s largest contributor by far, for exercising its national sovereign rights.

Ambassador Haley bluntly told the member states voting for the General Assembly resolution to butt out of America’s decisions as a sovereign nation. “Unlike in some UN member countries, the United States government is answerable to its people,” she said. Ambassador Haley added that “the President’s decision reflects the will of the American people and our right as a nation to choose the location of our embassy. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.”

Ambassador Haley also warned that Americans will need to re-evaluate the current level of generous contributions the United States makes to the UN and how they will now choose to regard those “countries who disrespect us in the UN.”

The UN’s handling of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, operating under the thin veneer of diplomatic jargon and self-righteous pronouncements, is divorced from reality, history and morality

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, during his remarks to the General Assembly, harshly criticized the countries supporting the resolution at the urging of the Palestinians. “Those who support today’s resolution are like puppets pulled by the strings of the Palestinian puppet masters,” said Ambassador Danon. “You are like marionettes forced to dance while the Palestinian leadership looks on with glee,” he continued. Ambassador Danon displayed a coin from the year 67 AD that was minted during the Jewish revolt against the Romans. “On this coin is written ‘Freedom of Zion.’ It proves the ancient connection of Jews to Jerusalem,” Ambassador Danon explained.  “No UNESCO declaration, no empty speeches, no General Assembly resolution will ever drive us from Jerusalem,” he declared.

The UN’s handling of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, operating under the thin veneer of diplomatic jargon and self-righteous pronouncements, is divorced from reality, history and morality. As Ambassador Haley said in her remarks to the General Assembly, “To its shame, the United Nations has long been a hostile place for the state of Israel.” Israel, far more than many of the member states that continue to denounce it, “stands up for the ideals of freedom and human dignity that the United Nations is supposed to be about.”

This latest episode demonstrates why President Trump’s re-examination of the role of international institutions in the context of his administration’s new National Security Strategy is so necessary. The United States, as the strategy document states, will “cooperate to advance peace abroad.”  However, the United States will not sit idly by while the UN forums and instrumentalities, to which the U.S. contributes disproportionately, are manipulated to the detriment of the interests and values of the United States and its allies. Moreover, the United States will not cede sovereignty to the so-called international community’s wishes where they are in conflict with the sovereign will of the American people and America’s constitutional framework of self-government.

In standing up for Israel, the only genuine democracy in the Middle East, against continuous efforts at the UN to demonize and delegitimize it, and standing up for U.S. sovereignty in deciding where to locate its own embassies, the Trump administration is displaying the “principled realism” so lacking during the last administration.

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Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.

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