Jerusalem: Why we voted against U.S, Israel — South Africa, others

Jerusalem used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Time Magazine]

The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly during a rare emergency meeting today to ask nations not to establish diplomatic missions in the historic city of Jerusalem, as delegates warned that the recent decision by the United States to do so risked igniting a religious war across the already turbulent Middle East and even beyond.

By a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 9 against (Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, United States), with 35 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the resolution “Status of Jerusalem”, by which it declared “null and void” any actions intended to alter Jerusalem’s character, status or demographic composition. Calling on all States to refrain from establishing embassies in the Holy City, it also demanded that they comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions and work to reverse the “negative trends” imperilling a two‑State resolution of the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict.

“We meet today not because of any animosity to the United States of America,” insisted Riad Al‑Malki, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine. Instead, the emergency session had been called to make the voice of the vast majority of the international community — and that of people around the world — heard on the question of Jerusalem/Al‑Quds Al‑Sharif. He described the 6 December decision by the United States to recognize the city as Israel’s capital, and to move its embassy there, as an aggressive and dangerous move, cautioning that it could inflame tensions and lead to a religious war that “has no boundaries”.

He went on to state that the decision would have no impact on the Holy City’s status, but it nevertheless compromised the role of the United States in the peace process. Moreover, it did nothing but serve the forces of extremism around the world, he said, pointing out that even the closest allies of the United States could not turn a blind eye to its actions. The Assembly was meeting in the wake of the Security Council’s failure to adopt a similar draft resolution, even as 14 of its 15 members had voted in its favour. “The veto will not stop us,” he declared in that regard, underlining that Al‑Quds “will not fall to any siege, monopolization or domination”.

The representative of the United States, however, said she stood firmly behind the Administration’s decision, declaring: “America will put its embassy in Jerusalem.” Its citizens would remember today’s votes, including the countries that had disrespected the United States and singled it out, she warned. Pointing out her country’s standing as by far the largest single contributor to the United Nations, she said its contributions were intended to advance its national values and interests, but when such an investment failed, the Government would be obliged to spend its resources “in more productive ways”.

Israel’s representative, meanwhile, said one‑sided anti‑Israel resolutions had been pushing the Middle East peace process back for years. The Assembly remained in constant open session when it came to Israel, though the world was full of conflict, he noted, adding that the recent decision by the United States only declared what had always been true: “Jerusalem has been, and always will be, the capital of the State of Israel.” Today’s vote, therefore, was nothing more than the performance of a delusion, and the text did absolutely nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.

At the meeting’s outset, Yemen’s representative presented the draft resolution in his capacity as Chair of the Arab Group and one of its two main co‑sponsors, the other being Turkey, current Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Describing the decision by the United States as a blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, as well as those of all Christians and Muslims, he emphasized that it constituted a dangerous breach of the Charter of the United Nations and a serious threat to international peace and security, while also undermining the chances for a two‑State solution and fuelling the fires of violence and extremism.

Venezuela’s delegate, speaking for the Non‑Aligned Movement, expressed grave concern about Israel’s ongoing violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including attempts to alter the character, status and demographic composition of the City of Jerusalem. Also concerned about the decision to relocate the United States embassy, he warned that such provocative actions would further heighten tensions, with potentially far‑reaching repercussions given the extremely volatile backdrop.

Malaysia’s representative echoed those sentiments, rejecting the Jerusalem decision as an infringement on the Palestinian people’s rights. It had also caused dismay and frustration across the Muslim world, he added. Since the issue lay at the heart of the Palestinian cause, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital endorsed Israel’s brutal occupation and repressive policies, he said. “We are concerned that this dire situation will only feed into the agenda of the extremists and frustrate our collective efforts in our bigger objective of combating terrorism and ending the vicious cycle of violence.”

Several delegates spoke in explanation of position, with Australia’s representative explaining that she had abstained because although her country’s Government did not support unilateral action that undermined the peace process, it did not believe today’s text would help to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

Canada’s representative said he had abstained because the resolution was one‑sided and did not advance the prospects for peace.

Meanwhile, Paraguay’s representative said he had abstained because his delegation’s position was that the question of Jerusalem was a matter for the Security Council, as the primary body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Mexico’s representative said he had also abstained, while emphasizing that convening an emergency session was a disproportionate response. The United States must become part of the solution, not a stumbling block that would hamper progress, he emphasized, noting that the international community was further than ever from agreement.

Also speaking were representatives of Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Maldives, Syria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, South Africa, Estonia (on behalf of several States), El Salvador, Argentina, Romania, Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Armenia, Hungary and Latvia, as well as the Permanent Observer for the Holy See.

The General Assembly will reconvene at a date and time to be announced.

Introduction of Draft Resolution

KHALED HUSSEIN MOHAMED ALYEMANY (Yemen), introducing draft resolution A/ES‑10/L.22, titled “Status of Jerusalem”, expressed regret at the decision by the United States to exercise the veto against the draft resolution that Egypt had submitted in the Security Council on behalf of the Arab Group. It was intended to protect the City of Jerusalem and block any attempt to change its historical character, he said, emphasizing that the United States decision of 6 December was considered null and void and would have no impact on the city’s status. Furthermore, it was a blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, as well as all the world’s Christians and Muslims. Describing the decision further as a dangerous breach of the Charter of the United Nations, he said it constituted a serious threat to peace and security in the region and the entire world. It also undermined any chances for a two‑State solution and fuelled the fires of violence and extremism, he said.

Stressing that Jerusalem was a vital part of the territory of Palestine, he called upon all States, including the United States, to refrain from measures contravening the historic status quo and from establishing diplomatic missions in the Holy City, as per Security Council resolutions. He strongly condemned all Israeli policies, practices and plans that were illegal and aimed at the annexation of East Jerusalem, rejecting all steps to change the Holy City’s legal status. Commending the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, seeking to protect their rights in the face of aggression, he said Israel’s occupation of Arab lands was the source of all tension in the Middle East and there would be no security in the region without a solution that would ensure the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights to their own State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

As Chair of the Arab Group, and in cooperation with Turkey as Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), he presented the draft resolution elaborating that any steps to alter the character, status or composition of the City of Jerusalem had no legal affect, were null and void and must be immediately rescinded.

Statements

RIAD AL‑MALKI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, said his delegation had called for today’s emergency meeting to make the international community’s voice heard on the question of Al‑Quds [Jerusalem]. The position shared by the vast majority of nations was embodied in the reactions of people around the world, he noted, recalling that a draft resolution that would have declared any action to change the city’s character to be “null and void” had been vetoed in the Security Council earlier this week, despite having received support from 14 of that organ’s 15 members. “The General Assembly now has the right to take up this issue,” he said, pointing out that there was an international consensus on the dangerous nature of the 6 December decision by the United States to recognize Al‑Quds as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there.

“We meet today not because of any animosity to the United States of America,” he said, explaining that it was because of the aggression reflected by its recent decision. It would not impact the status of the Holy City whatsoever, but would instead impact the role of the United States itself in the peace process, he cautioned. Expressing regret that his delegation’s warnings that such actions could inflame religious tensions had gone unheeded, he further warned that the decision could lead to a religious war that “has no boundaries”. Indeed, the decision did nothing but serve the forces of extremism around the world, and no credible voice seeking peace could ever support it, he said, pointing out that even the closest allies of the United States could not turn a blind eye to its actions. Al‑Quds was a holy and historic city that “will not fall to any siege, monopolization or domination”, he declared.

Today was an opportunity for the United States to join the international community in helping to prevent the escalation of conflict, he continued. While the State of Palestine respected the sovereignty of all States, it refused to have that principle used as an excuse to deny Palestinians their rights. “We stand today united for justice,” he declared, stressing “the veto will not stop us”. The State of Palestine would not accept any justification — security, religious or otherwise — to excuse Israel’s continued occupation, he said, underlining that the United Nations was today undergoing an unprecedented test “with Palestine as its headline”. Citing the unity of many of the Organization’s organs — including the Assembly, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, the International Court of Justice and others — on the question of Jerusalem, he stressed: “History records names, and remembers names,” including those standing up for what was right, and those speaking falsehoods.

While Palestinians had never wavered in their support of peace, colonialism and peace could not coexist, he said, emphasizing that there could not be peace for just one side. Warning Member States not to use the excuse of supporting dialogue to avoid their responsibilities under international law, he urged them to hold accountable those who committed violations, recognize the State of Palestine and help provide both security and dignity to its people. He cited recent examples of the “barbarism of the Israeli regime”, saying they included attacks against Palestinian civilians and children. As the world prepared to celebrate Christmas, “the lights will not be lit in the land of Christ”, he added. Al‑Quds would remain dark in affirmation of the Palestinian people’s unity around their cause. By voting in favour of the draft resolution, Member States would be standing up for justice and rejecting attempts at blackmail and intimidation, he said. “Those who want peace must vote for peace today.”

MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, described the vote as an important reminder that Palestinians — subjected to systematic violence and discrimination for generations — were not alone. The only hope for a just and lasting peace in the region was a Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said. However, the recent decision by a Member State to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital violated international law and was an “outrageous assault” on universal values, he emphasized. He recalled that the 13 December Summit of OIC had unanimously rejected that decision and declared East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine. Since Jerusalem was the holy city of three monotheistic religions, it was the responsibility of all to preserve its historic status, he said, recalling that a Member State had threatened others before the meeting to vote “no” or face the consequences. The Assembly would not bow to such bullying, he declared, underlining that it was unethical to think that the votes and dignity of Member States were for sale. A vote in favour of the Palestinian people would place Member States on the right side of history.

NIKKI R. HALEY (United States) said the United Nations had long been a hostile place for Israel, which undermined the Organization’s credibility and was harmful for the entire world. Israel must not only stand up for its own survival, but also for the ideals of freedom and human dignity, which was what the United Nations was supposed to be about, she said, adding that being forced to defend her country’s sovereignty had brought many of the same thoughts to her mind. Pointing out that the United States was by far the single largest contributor to the United Nations, which it did in order to advance its values and interests, she said that together they had made tremendous advances in a wide range of areas. The United States was demonstrating “the American way” when it provided generous contributions to the United Nations, yet it also had the legitimate expectation that its efforts would garner the world’s goodwill and respect, she said, adding that it was being asked to pay for the dubious privilege of being disrespected. Emphasizing that the Government of the United States was held accountable by its people, she said it had the obligation to ask for more for its investment, and when that investment failed, it also had the obligation to spend in more productive ways.

The United States had already made its decision in accordance with United States law dating back to 1995, she continued, adding that it had been repeatedly endorsed by its people. The decision did not preclude any final status issues, including the status or boundaries of Jerusalem, nor did it preclude a two‑State solution or harm peace efforts. Rather, the decision reflected the will of the American people and the right of the United States to move its embassy where it saw fit. “There is no need to describe it further.” She said her delegation would remember the day it was singled out and attacked in the General Assembly for exercising its right to act as a sovereign nation. It would remember that day when it was asked to make the single largest contribution to the United Nations, or when it was called upon to use its influence. “America will put its embassy in Jerusalem,” she said, emphasizing: “It was what the American people wanted the Government to do.” The way in which Americans viewed the United Nations and the way in which countries had disrespected the United States with today’s vote would be remembered, she vowed.

DANNY DANON (Israel) said the one‑sided steps by the Palestinians and the United Nations had pushed peace away for years. With every anti‑Israel resolution, with every attack on the Israeli people, the United Nations had perfected its double standard. Despite living in a world full of conflict and war, only when it came to Israel did the Assembly remain in constant open session, he said. The United States had only declared what had always been true, he continued, emphasizing: “Jerusalem has been, and always will be, the capital of the State of Israel.” The vote was nothing more than the performance of a delusion, and the draft resolution did absolutely nothing for the lives of the Palestinian people, he said, describing it as nothing more than a distraction.

He went on to state that Israel knew Jerusalem was sacred to billions around the world and encouraged everyone to visit and pray in the Holy City. There was a particular irony in the draft resolution in that its co‑sponsors accused Israel and the United States of violating international law, yet it was in those countries where terrorist groups found fertile ground. The United Nations preached human rights and peace, but when it came to Israel, Member States completely ignored the horrific acts of terror that threatened Israeli citizens. Violence and terror must never be tolerated, he stressed, adding that if the United Nations was really united for peace, it would pass a resolution condemning Palestinian violence. On the contrary, today’s draft resolution encouraged more violence and instability, he said, warning that it sanctioned Palestinians to continue on a dangerous path.

SAMUEL MONCADA ACOSTA (Venezuela), speaking on behalf of the Non‑Aligned Movement, expressed grave concern about the ongoing violations perpetrated by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including attempts aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the City of Jerusalem. Expressing further grave concern about the declared intentions and plans announced by the President of the United States to transfer his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, and any other related action that would further consolidate Israel’s control and unlawful de facto annexation of the city, he warned that such provocative actions, in disrespect of Security Council resolutions, would further heighten tensions, with potentially far‑reaching repercussions. In that regard, he called for a halt to all violations and provocations by the Government of the United States, recalling the principles and purposes enshrined in the United Nations Charter, including the prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force.

He went on to caution that, against the backdrop of an extremely volatile situation and with diminishing prospects for a just peace, such unlawful actions in Jerusalem could seriously destabilize the fragile situation on the ground. The Security Council underlined in its resolution 2334 (2016) that it “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”, he noted. It also called on all parties “to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de‑escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two‑State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace”. The Non‑Aligned Movement reaffirmed the commitment of its member States to the realization of a just, lasting and peaceful solution to the question of Palestine in all aspects and in accordance with international law, he stressed.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said the unilateral actions of one country were set to undo decades of work by the international community and to defy international law. Pakistan rejected the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate its embassy to the Holy City in contravention of several provisions of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, she declared. Member States must recommit to thwarting any attempts to violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the ultimate goal of a two‑State solution. Expressing unwavering support for the Palestinian cause, she said it was a key pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy, recalling that her country had led and sponsored the Assembly’s first‑ever resolution on Jerusalem. In that regard, Pakistan was proud to join the international community once again in adopting a landmark draft resolution to reject the “revisionist” decision of the United States.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) described the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as unacceptable and in violation of a number of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Recalling that Security Council resolution 478 (1980) called upon States to withdraw diplomatic missions from the Holy City, he said that text would remain valid until peace was attained for the Palestinians. Any attempts to change the character and status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, were in flagrant violation of international law, constituting a major obstacle to comprehensive peace and the realization of a two‑State solution, he said, underlining Indonesia’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause.

ALI NASEER MOHAMED (Maldives) said the current international system, which had emerged with the founding of the United Nations, was based on international law and every Member State, including Israel, was bound to respect and implement resolutions of the Security Council in good faith. By adopting today’s draft, the international community would send a clear message to Israel and the handful of countries supporting its illegal actions, he said. Emphasizing that Jerusalem’s final status could only be decided through a negotiated settlement, he appealed to Israel to withdraw from its illegal occupation of Palestine, stressing that the centre of gravity in international politics was shifting towards the rule of law, and no Power was too great to ignore that reality.

MOUNZER MOUNZER (Syria), condemning the decision to transfer the United States embassy to the occupied city of Al‑Quds and to recognize it as Israel’s capital, said it constituted a flagrant violation of the city’s special status and yet another demonstration of colonial crimes committed against Palestine. The decision was unilateral in nature and had no impact on the city’s legal status, he said, underlining that the United States had never, and would never, stand as a neutral party in the Middle East peace process. Condemning that country’s use of the veto in the Security Council, he pledged that his delegation would never renounce its unwavering support for the rights of Christians, Palestinians and Muslims in the city of Al‑Quds. Indeed, Syria stood firmly for the right of the Palestinians to self‑determination and to an independent State with Al‑Quds as its capital, as well as their right of return and their right to stand as a full Member State of the United Nations. Calling upon the United States to respect all resolutions of the Assembly and the Security Council on the matter, he said that country’s arrogance had now risen to the level of directly threatening Member States, declaring: “This is a superpower which views the United Nations as a national institution”, adding that it treated other Member States like schoolchildren.

MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and OIC, reaffirmed his country’s position on East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent and viable State of Palestine. Bangladesh was concerned about any decision or announcement that could compromise East Jerusalem’s status as a final status issue in the Middle East peace process, change its historical and legal status, or alter its demographic structure and historic Arab‑Islamic character, he said. It was also concerned about possible grave consequences and threats to international peace and security that could result from such an inflammation of tensions. Urging all sides to take a pragmatic approach to the peace process by negotiating a two‑State solution with the aim of bringing about lasting peace and stability in the region, he said Bangladesh supported all efforts to resolve protracted conflicts, especially against the backdrop of its own efforts to deal with the massive, ongoing influx of forcibly displaced persons from neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO (Cuba), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and voicing support for the statements delivered on behalf of OIC and the Arab Group, said her delegation had made its position clear in its 6 December declaration “on the recognition by the United States of the City of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”. Quoting from that document, she said: “Cuba expresses its deepest concern and rejection of the [United States] President’s unilateral declaration on the City of Jerusalem […] which is a serious and flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, of international law and of the relevant UN resolutions.” Warning that the decision would have serious consequences for stability and security in the Middle East, she called upon the Security Council to fulfil its Charter responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, including by demanding that Israel immediately end its occupation. Cuba would continue to support a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian‑Israeli conflict on the basis of a two‑State solution, as well as the right of the Palestinians to self‑determination and to an independent, sovereign State with its capital in East Jerusalem and within the pre‑1967 borders, she stressed.

GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO (Iran) said that the United States had been aiding and abetting the Israeli regime by according it unconditional support and defending it by any means necessary. The United States had misused its veto power in the Security Council to shield the regime against the will of the international community, and its recent illegal decision made it clear that the United States sought only to secure the Israeli regime’s interests and did not respect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self‑determination. The Israeli occupation lay at the centre of all crises and conflicts in the Middle East and beyond, a fact long acknowledged by the United Nations, he said. He strongly condemned the reckless, unilateral attempt by the United States to distort the historical facts and replace them with fiction. That country’s Administration had done little to hide its intentions to shift the Security Council’s focus from the question of Palestine to fabricated “alternative issues” in the region in order to give the Israeli regime more space to freely pursue its criminal practices.

SHEN BO (China), highlighting the Palestinian question’s position at the core of Middle East issues, said it had a profound impact on peace efforts in the region. In that context, the situation of Jerusalem had particular complexities. Calling upon the international community to remain united in the joint pursuit of peace and to facilitate de‑escalation of the situation for the greater good of stability and tranquillity, he said a two‑State solution was the right path to a political settlement of the Palestinian question. China firmly supported the Middle East peace process and the rights of the Palestinian people, including a fully sovereign State of Palestine, he declared, emphasizing that his delegation’s position would never change. China would continue to play a constructive role in the quest for a political solution to the question of Palestine.

M. SHAHRUL IKRAM YAAKOB (Malaysia), associating himself with OIC and the Non‑Aligned Movement, said his country also joined the international community in expressing its deep concern over, and rejection of, the 6 December decision of the United States on Jerusalem. “Such a move undermines efforts towards finding a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the Palestinian‑Israeli conflict,” he emphasized, noting that it had caused dismay and frustration across the Muslim world. The decision infringed on the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self‑determination, and contravened Security Council resolutions. Since Al‑Quds was at the heart of the Palestinian cause, recognizing it as Israel’s capital served to endorse Israel’s brutal occupation and repressive policies, he pointed out. “We are concerned that this dire situation will only feed into the agenda of the extremists and frustrate our collective efforts in our bigger objective of combating terrorism and ending the vicious cycle of violence,” he stressed.

JA SONG NAM (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) recalled that, during the seventieth summit of the Non‑Aligned Movement, its members had committed to supporting the interests of developing countries on issues relating to international peace and security, and to strengthening multilateralism through various United Nations instruments. In that vein, the Security Council had adopted a resolution in 2016 that demanded Israel end its illegal settlement activities on Palestinian land. The recent decision on Jerusalem was an insult to the unanimous will of the international community, he said, stressing that the Middle East conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue between the parties. Condemning that decision as “reckless and high‑handed”, he urged the United States to pay greater attention to international efforts to resolve the conflict, in accordance with international law and in conformity with Security Council resolutions. Concluding, he expressed his delegation’s support for the Palestinian people and their efforts to establish an independent, sovereign State with Al‑Quds as its capital.

WOUTER HOFMEYR ZAAYMAN (South Africa) expressed his delegation’s deep concern that unilateral action by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital undermined the progress made within the context of the Middle East peace process. The decision by the Government of the United States was regrettable and not constructive in advancing sustainable peace in the region. The Government of South Africa remained in favour of a two‑State solution for Palestine and Israel, based on international recognition and independence of a State of Palestine, he said, appealing to the United States Administration to reconsider its decision to relocate its embassy, which compromised and undermined the principles of a two‑State solution based on peaceful coexistence between the peoples of Israel and Palestine.

TOMASZ GRYSA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, emphasized that Jerusalem was most sacred to the three monotheistic religions and a symbol for millions of believers around the world who considered it their “spiritual capital”. The Holy City’s significance went beyond the question of borders, a reality that should be considered a priority in every negotiation for a political solution. The Holy See called for a peaceful resolution that would ensure respect for the sacred nature of Jerusalem and its universal value, he said, reiterating that only international guarantee could preserve its unique character and status, and provide assurance of dialogue and reconciliation for peace in the region.

Action

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 9 against (Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, United States), with 35 abstentions.

Explanation of Position

The representative of Estonia, speaking on behalf of a group of Member States, reiterated their firm commitment to a two‑State solution as well as their unchanged position on East Jerusalem. They would continue to respect the international consensus embodied in Security Council resolution 478 (1980) until Jerusalem’s final status was resolved. Furthermore, the status quo around the Temple Mount must be upheld in full respect for previous understandings and for Jordan’s special role. A negotiated two‑State solution was the only realistic way to realize the peace that both Israelis and Palestinians deserved.

The representative of Australia said that while her country’s Government did not support unilateral action that undermined the peace process, it did not believe the resolution would help to bring the parties back to the negotiating table. For that reason, Australia had abstained from the vote, but hoped nevertheless that Israel and the Palestinians would return to the talks as soon as possible.

The representative of Paraguay said his delegation had abstained because the matter was still before the Security Council, which was responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. Furthermore, the issue should be resolved directly by both parties.

The representative of El Salvador reiterated his support for a negotiated two‑State solution with full respect for all Security Council resolutions. However, he expressed regret that drafts were being tabled without enough time for discussion, adding that, as such, his delegation had abstained to demonstrate its unhappiness with the procedure around the draft.

The representative of Argentina said he had abstained because the draft would not help to resolve the conflict between the parties, emphasizing that the abstention did not imply a change in his delegation’s view of the situation. Argentina supported all attempts to bring about peace in the Middle East, he said, urging the international community to make a joint effort to uphold a two‑State solution, as per the Arab Peace Initiative and the road map of the Middle East Quartet.

The representative of Romania said his delegation’s position concerning the status of Jerusalem was in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly. Calling for calm, he encouraged the parties to resume dialogue so as to move the peace process forward, stressing that the time had come to renew international efforts to relaunch the peace process.

The representative of Canada said he had opted to abstain because the draft resolution was one‑sided and did not advance the prospects for peace. Emphasizing the importance of Jerusalem, he condemned the violence and terrorism of the past weeks.

The representative of Nicaragua said he had voted in favour of the draft resolution because it rebuffed recent unilateral attempts to modify the character and status of Jerusalem. Such unilateral actions were in blatant violation of resolution 2234 (2016) and others, he said, stressing that unilateral actions jeopardized peace and stability in the Middle East and drew the international community further away from a solution.

The representative of Mexico said he had abstained. Noting that the international community was further from agreement today than ever before, he said it was disproportionate to convene an emergency session of the General Assembly. The United States must be part of the solution and not an additional stumbling block hampering progress. Mexico would keep its embassy in Tel Aviv, he underlined.

The representative of the Czech Republic said that while his delegation supported the European Union position, it had nevertheless abstained because it did not believe the draft resolution would contribute to the peace process.

The representative of Armenia said his country’s position remained unchanged. The situation should be resolved through negotiations paving the way for lasting peace and security.

The representative of Hungary said her delegation did not comment on the foreign policy decisions of the United States and its position on the issue remained unchanged.

The representative of Latvia said his delegation’s position remained unchanged. Jerusalem’s status must be negotiated through direct talks, and the city must become the capital of both Israel and a future State of Palestine. Latvia had abstained because it was important not to escalate the political and security situation in the region.

The representative of Estonia took the floor a second time to clarify that she had delivered her statement on behalf of Albania, Lithuania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

SOURCE: UN


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  • Dr.Alfred Branson

    Wether the whole nations of the earth kick against Israel,Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.It is called Mount Zion, The city of great God.The heavenly Jerusalem.Hebrews12:22,Those who opposes the will of God for Israel should do that with caution because God is not respecter of any persons.

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      Did you read the resolution? Your comment is a disservice to sound reasoning.

      • Say the truth

        And yours is a disgrace.

        • zacchaeus Akinleye

          Are you of a sound mind? Your semi-illiteracy is more of a burden for you than a truncated reasoning.

      • Kallah Bature

        Please be informed that Palestine is populated by both Christian Arab and Muslim Arabs who need the Israelis to treat them with respect and therefore live with them in peace and harmony.Please encourage peace from both sides not division and rancour.

      • Dollars nation

        The resolution is delusional

    • idavies

      You are not a chritian but bif you are, you are ignorant of the situation. Please be silent.

    • Afo

      Process of the war of Armageddon is being kicked started. Note that majority of those in that gathering are muslim countrires whereas the EU countries has abandoned the path of godliness. Let us therefore draw closer to God in righteousness for the end is very near.

      • Dr.Alfred Branson

        It is only those who are not aquatinted with the word of God that lacks knowledge of this time in human history.God’s prophecies is fulfilling in Israel concerning Jerusalem.The battle lines has been drawn.The children of the strange woman are fighting against the promised,In Isaac my covenant shall be established,UN can’t stop this.

        • Hassan Mustapha

          What kind of God do you worship? Is your god of oppression? Or how can your god promise you land that doesn’t belong to you? Read gen21:1 to 33 , the whole land belong to that Palestine (philistine) they gave a piece to Abraham to cultivate (that was before he was promised isaac) . So , how can your god oppress them to pleases you .oh I forgot , even their fore father did the same thing to his slave , or how can we justify abraham’s action ? He didn’t marry his slave but just take advantage of her and later sent her packing (to an unknown destination) when he has gotten what he wanted and even lied to king abimelek that Sarah isn’t his wife but sister (that’s a trick because she was his sister and also his girl friend because the bible didn’t mention their wedding) , the king gave him some warning and later gave him a piece of land. Remember , Palestine was there even when Israel was not yet promised by your oppression god genesis 21

          • Dr.Alfred Branson

            The man Abraham was a native of Haran,and God call him to came out from his own country and from his kindred and from his father’s house,unto a land I will show you.Genesis 12:1,and in verse 7,of that same Genesis12:7,The Lord God appeared unto Abraham,and said,”Unto your seed will I give this Land,and there Abraham builded and altar unto The Lord who appeared unto him.And in Genesis 15:18,The Bible said,in that same day The Lord made a covenant with Abraham,saying “Unto they seed have I given this Land,From the River of Egypt unto the great River,the River Euphrates etc.The earth belong to God He give you any place He wishes without seeking permission from anybody.That is why the Palistinian should allow Israel because as far as God is concerned they can’t wins this battle.

          • Hassan Mustapha

            So your god was blind to have given the land to them first before? What about the god of the Palestinian who gave them the land? So they should vacate their land because your own god promised you their land? Can you leave your own land if my god promise me you land or house? Then your god is god of oppression, no wonder the Bible is full of war between Israel and many people, they are just disturbing the peace of others all in the name of your god’s promises…….. I detest such god

          • commonsense64

            The earth is the Lord’s (psalm 24), so he can give it to whomever he wants

          • obiora

            You are mixing things up. This your Gen.1:1 to 33 is not about Jerusalem but what happend before Abraham crossed River Jordan to Jerusalem. So Philistine land did not cross River Jordan. So it is for Palistine to cross River Jordan because that is their Land and stop talking about Jerusalem.

    • Jeffrey

      is it the same Jerusalem that rejected Christ…………

      • Dr.Alfred Branson

        It is the same Jerusalem

  • obiora

    But what is the Historical Status of Jerusalem?. Is that word Jerusalem Israel or Arab word. Most of international Politics are based on Gain. They are all talking having in mind Barrels of Cheap Oil from Arab Countries. Arabs countries have Means to pressurize other Countries which is OIL and that is why UN is weak and could not bring peace to the World. There can not be peace where there is no Justice. It would have been a wrong decition to give east Jerusalem to Jordaniens in the name Palestine. Palestine should go back to their Land and stop being used for problems.

    • Goks

      If the world world agrees that we should go back to the historical status of each land, then the Caucasians needs to get out of North America, the British settlers our ot Australia and Tasmania etc. Even the rolling family on UK is of German Origin.

      Pls start by calling on Trump and his migrant family who migrated to the USA. Are you ready to follow through?

      My brother, where do you think this will stop?

      • obiora

        The question is not about Living in Jerusalem but whose Land is Jerusalem?. And Jerusalem is Jewish word so.

  • thusspokez

    The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly during a rare emergency meeting today to ask nations not to establish diplomatic missions in the historic city of Jerusalem, as delegates warned that the recent decision by the United States to do so risked igniting a religious war across the already turbulent Middle East and even beyond.

    Let’s hope that this overwhelming vote and support give the victimised Palestinians some hope.

    I may not be a great fan of the Arabs and their culture, but I refuse to allow my emotion to cloud my judgement on matters of morality. Jerusalem belongs to the three Abrahamic religions – not just Israel who is trying to take it over through the back door.

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      But Israel has preserved and allowed free access to the holy sites for all the major religions. Plus, they did capture Jerusalem as a whole in 1967 and they already annexed the city formally through legislation in 1981.They took it over already through their legal system and through the Six Day War.

      • thusspokez

        With your argument, are you seriously making a positive or negative case for Israel? In my opinion, it is the latter.

        • Chukwuka Okoroafor

          It is not really positive or negative, it is just a statement of fact. I must also say that Israel took Jerusalem in a defensive war in 1967.

          • thusspokez

            I must also say that Israel took Jerusalem in a defensive war in 1967.

            Is this ignorance or what? Google is your friend!

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            A preemptive war that was done on the basis of threats and preparation for an attack by its neighbors (and let us not forget that Israel had a history of being invaded in 1948) is ultimately a defensive war in my book. You know that even today, most Egyptians want Israel to be destroyed despite the peace treaty that still exists. All the other Arab states, most of their populations want Israel’s destruction. That is a fact.

          • thusspokez

            A preemptive war

            First, it was “defensive war”, and then a “pre-emptive war”. What next? War game?

            You know that even today, most Egyptians want Israel to be destroyed despite the peace treaty that still exists. All the other Arab states, most of their populations want Israel’s destruction. That is a fact.

            This is what happen you have have taken an overdose of Israeli propaganda – originally tailored for the West who have now got tired of hearing it.

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            A preemptive war can be a defensive war. This is from Wikipedia on the Six-Day War:

            “Many commentators consider the war as the classic case of anticipatory attack in self-defense.”

            Anticipatory or preemptive attack can be done for the purpose of preventing an attack from coming. And there is a good portion of these Arab populations that do want the destruction of Israel. Certainly, there are Israel supporters amongst them and others who are indifferent. I will admit to going out of line on saying most Arabs want Israel destroyed as Brookings Institute surveys say the majority of sampled Egyptians would like to support the peace treaty, but there is something to the fact that many in the Arab world refer to May 14, 1948 as the day of catastrophe (35% of them don’t want a peace treaty which is a significant portion).

          • thusspokez

            Nazi Germany attacks of Poland, Russia, etc. I am sure were all defensive [oops: pre-emptive].

            So you are only now reading about the six-day war on wikipedia despite claiming to know it all!

            the majority of sampled Egyptians would like to support the peace treaty

            More confusion. Arabs want to destroy Israel; Arabs want peace with Israel?

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            What analogy are you trying to make? And how is attacking Poland, a country that was attacked for living space and shared with the USSR a defensive war? There was nothing defensive about it whereas Israel did a preemptive attack in its defense. I also said that I was off line about Egyptians prior to the statement that the majority of Egyptians according to the Brookings Institute in 2011 wanted to maintain the peace treaty though it was a sample of a little over 1000 people and 35% wanted to jettison the peace agreement. Please don’t try to create a mountain out of this to then attack me with. That is the same strategy that the neo-Biafrans use and you will turn out to be the same.

          • Otile

            Why are you wasting your time discussing Jerusalem with a degenerate obdurate ant-Semitic bigot? Believe me, you cannot teach him anything.

  • Wilson Eseago

    Like I said before if it is the appointed time for jerusalem to be israel capital no man ca stop it not even this bias un can stop it, let wait and see the hand on GOD.

  • Christian Weller

    UN Chief executives have being bribes by arab, Turkey, China

    • thusspokez

      And Nigeria, South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Russia, etc.

    • rules_emmanuelO.

      We understand that Nigeria is a trust a challenged country, but not every issue deserves to be greeted with this sort of paranoia!

  • Dr.Alfred Branson

    The Jews need no one to approve Jerusalem as their own CAPITAL as no country seeks Israelist approval for their own Capital

    • commonsense64

      God bless you

    • Yomi Balogun

      God bless you and your generations after you bro

  • ahidjo

    Nigerian Christians are so dumb and hypoignorance that and average among them think the Israelites or the Jews are all Christian like them, but pls Nigeria Christian I employed you to find out these; (1) Only less than 3% of the Israel population are Christian and more than 80% of this 3% Christian population are Arabs. (2) Who killed their only begotten son of their God or their so call God the son or to some their real God in human form? (The Jews). Did the Jews up till tomorrow believe in this their bible New testament or do they even believe or acknowledged Jesus? (Capital No). (3) Haven’t the Jews said Mary the mother of Jesus commits fornication? So I find it difficult to understand why they are always romancing someone who totally reject them and even killed their only God. It doesn’t make sense at all.

    • T Man

      To the canally minded is death Romans 8:6-7. You can’t understand spiritual things and i know you only love those who love u.

    • commonsense64

      Christians are not complaining of the crucifixion of Jesus , because his death brought salvation to mankind

    • Agu Nnaemeka

      I’d rather listen to a frog and try to understand it’s language …what language do you speak? hsilgne? Go to school bro..

    • Otile

      You are far gone in ignorance.

  • Mentus

    Abidjan you are the ignorant one. No Christian is claiming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on the basis of Jews being Christians. When God gave the land to the Jews, Christ had not even been born and there were no Christians. God’s covenant with Israel, like God’s word will always be fulfilled regardless of who or who does not believe.
    Your arguments that only a tiny percentage of Christians does not negate the fact that Jerusalem is israel’s Capital. The general Asembly, can vote till the cows come home, they are wasting their time.

    • dev

      Which God made the pronouncement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? Do you know that where the Israelis are occupying is another people’s land? Let me tell you, unless we destroy Bible and it’s divisive teachings, the Bible and some of it’s teachings is going to destroy the world. Where did you see God make such declaration? If I ask you, you will say that it was written In the Bible or was declared by God through the mouth of one man or the other in the olden days. If a prophet come now and will your inheritance to another person or if a book writer wrote in his book that your inheritance belong to another person will you accept such a pronouncement? Mind you, if truly you believe in God you will know that every do in the Bible was undo by Jesus Christ. Everything in the Bible was written by humans and everything said in the Bible was said by humans not any God. For than reason humans can come together in the form of United Nations general Assembly to change everything written by the Jews and the Israelis in their religious book to claim another people’s land. Simple.

      • kkk

        Go and ask for forgiveness of what you have said from God ,warning

  • Timothy

    I think the US has to respect the opinion of others in this regard…simply because it practises Democracy or is it Democrazy….where the majority carries the vote. I dont think if it were in parliament and the Democrats opposes a bill then the presidency stops paying their allowances for not supporting it. There must be other ways to go about it, abi? If na lie I dey talk make una tell me. This is not autocracy but democracy. In as much as many Christians would like Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, it wont be wise to allow violence to engulf the city and for who’s benefits? Unless for those who sell guns and weapons which includes the US and others. So if the place is engulfed by violence Israel will need weapons and also other Arab world, so who will supply them these weapons? US and other countries that make them, especially the sophisticated ones. So it serves no good. Its best resolved amicably. But then again the world is coming to an end, there’s no need doing things normally anymore, so lets throw caution to the wind and lets end it once and for all. What the heck!

    • kanen

      That you practice democracy does not make you call black ‘white’ and white ‘black’.
      By your opinion you are promoting hypocrisy.

      • Timothy

        In a democracy the majority carries the vote….so if the majority says that Black is White…as a minority you accept it. Period. There’s no where in the world minority takes the decision over majority. That is the world we live in, that is the democracy we are intended to practise and what the US stands by. Why do you think China, Korea, UAE and others dont want democracy? Even in these places Majority rules.

  • Chukwura Okoli

    Jerusalem is important and sacred to the three foremost religions of the world but Jerusalem does not belong to the world, it belongs to a people. What I see is not that the US is only seen as having done this wrong ‘unilaterally ‘ not that it would have been wrong if it is done together. No where in the world does a place belong to two people. The world and UN should stop being hypocritical. Postponing this issues never solved the problem. Christians are not in anyway contesting this status because Jesus himself is a descendant of David.

  • kanen

    When it comes to Israel there is synergy among the world leaders to implement resolutions against it but when it is others there is a veto and unwillingnness to act. UN, your usefulness has since expired because of your double standard and a resolve to expose your hate for Israel and US for standing by the truth.. Your fear of war and failure to acknowledge, accept and stand by the truth by the majority members is the cause for your destruction. By the way it is foolishness to align yourself against God. Be not deceived for God can’t be mocked.

  • kart john

    I have always wanted to visit jerusalem to see where jesus was born in bethelem and is tomb where he arose to heaven and the tower of david and so many others but i will wait till is fully recongnise by israel capital, those palestian should go to saudi arabia

  • Dr.Alfred Branson

    Human votes cannot vote out God’s purpose for His people.The Throne of God was not established by election and No human being included the UN voted God into power.That is why His words,covenant and promises cannot be made invalid by human votes.Jerusalem has come to stay as an Israel’s Capital No conspiracies can canciled it.

  • M

    Ultimately, the USA can move their embassy anywhere they wish, UN resolution not withstanding. Mark my words, the moment they do, others will follow, willingly or unwillingly. It is the US congress that decides what the US government does and every president since Bill Clinton has voted for the move. Only DJT has had the balls to actually carry it out. Whether they move or not, the Palestinians will continue to be a nuisance to every country in the Arabian peninsula.