The Resolution and the Players:
“Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,
“Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,
The New York Times reports:
“The vote came a day after Mr. Trump personally intervened to keep the measure, which had been originally proposed by Egypt, from coming up for a vote on Thursday, as scheduled. Mr. Trump’s aides said he had spoken to Mr. Netanyahu. Both men also spoke to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt postponed the vote under what that country’s United Nations ambassador called intense pressure.
But in a show of mounting exasperation, four other countries on the Security Council — Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela — all of them relatively powerless temporary members with rotating two-year seats, snatched the resolution away from Egypt and put it up for a vote Friday.”
The Secretary-General welcomes the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2334 (2016) on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable.
The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work with the international community to create a conducive environment for a return to meaningful negotiations.
The United Nations stands ready to support all concerned parties in achieving this goal.
Benjamin Netanyahu taking a cue from Putin and Trump?
- Cancelling a meeting with British PM Theresa May that was slated to take place at the World Economic Summit in Davos in January.
- Ordered 10 ambassadors of countries that voted in favor of the resolution to meet with him personally. The timing was unfortunate, considering it was Christmas day.
- Accusing the U.S. of plotting against Israel, despite the choice to abstain.
“And yet, his competition with Naftali Bennett over who is more right-wing pushed him over the edge and led him to compromise Israel in order to satisfy his settler constituency.
For the Americans, the promotion of the settlement regulation bill – according to which Israel will expropriate 8,000 dunams of private Palestinian lands, legalize 54 illegal outposts as well as 3,850 housing units and seriously risk the possibility for two states – must have been the last straw.”
Why the U.S. abstained, via NPR’s Bill Chappell :
“In explaining the U.S. abstention, Ambassador Samantha Power said the move doesn’t signal diminished U.S. support for Israel; she later added that the continued construction of settlements ‘seriously undermines Israel’s security.’
“Power said, ‘The United States has been sending the message that the settlements must stop, privately and publicly, for nearly five decades.’ ”