EYEAFRICA TV: New York, USA: United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, her country would veto resolution 2334 if given the chance adding that the decision to abstain is “a stain on America’s conscience.” She was speaking to the U.N Security Council for the first time since President Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Almost a year ago, the Security Council passed resolution 2334 calling on Israel to end its illegal settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, describing the settlements as an impediment to peace.
The resolution also called for countries to distinguish their dealings between Israel and the territories occupied in 1967. Haley said the Resolution was itself an impediment to peace which gave Palestinian leaders a pass while rejecting one peace proposal after another. She said the history of the United Nations in the peace efforts “proves that talking in New York cannot take the place of face-to-face negotiations between the regional parties; it only sets back the cause of peace, not advance it.”
She further stressed that Resolution 2334 was also an effort to create a blacklist of companies operating in Jewish communities. She said, “It is a stain on America’s conscience that we gave the so-called BDS movement momentum by allowing the passage of Resolution 2334; to the United Nations’ shame, this has been a disproportionately hostile place for the Middle East’s most enduring democracy.” The US ambassador said Israel had withstood wave after wave of “bias in the UN and its agencies” for decades. She added, “The United States has often stood beside Israel.
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov said the developments on the ground cannot be divorced from the broader context of uncertainties about the peace process, unilateral actions that undermine the two-state solution, occupation, and violence. He said no steps have been taken to cease settlement activities in the occupied territory while reiterating the UN stance that all such activities are illegal under international law.
The Special Coordinator added that some legal developments in Israel may in fact clear the way for the retroactive legalization of settlement homes and illegal outposts. Mladenov said 23 Palestinians and 4 Israelis had been killed in the past three months. He added that tensions have risen since the US announced its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there.
The Special Coordinator stressed that the UN is committed to supporting a negotiated two-state solution, “with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine”, and noted however that “there is a growing risk that the parties may revert to more unilateral actions.” He said, “The continued absence of a credible proposal, which can become the basis of meaningful negotiations is damaging the prospects for peace; the lack of significant steps on the ground that protect the viability of a two-state solution and support Palestinian statehood is undermining moderates and empowering radicals.