UN to vote on requiring U.S. to rescind Jerusalem edict

Edith M. Lederer
Associated Press

United Nations — The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote Monday on a resolution that would require the United States to rescind its declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move aimed at showing the depth of global opposition to President Donald Trump’s action.

The United States is certain to veto the Egyptian-drafted resolution, but supporters hope the 14 other council members, including many U.S. allies, vote “yes” to reflect anger not just in the Arab and Muslim world but in many other countries.

The draft resolution demands that all country comply with 10 resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city’s final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The draft resolution affirms that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”

Trump shattered decades of unwavering U.S. neutrality on Jerusalem on Dec. 6 when he declared that the United States recognizes the divided holy city as Israel’s capital and will move its embassy there. Trump insisted that after repeated peace failures it was past time for a new approach, saying his decision was merely based on reality.

The status of Jerusalem has been a central issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Trump’s announcement was widely perceived as taking the side of Israel. It countered an international consensus that Jerusalem’s status should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Trump’s announcement triggered denunciations and demonstrations around the world. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and other groups organized mass protests while its rival, the Gaza-based Islamic militant group Hamas, has called for a third violent uprising against Israel.

Trump has been working on a new Mideast peace plan and says he remains committed to brokering a deal, despite the Jerusalem move. However, Abbas said after the announcement that the U.S. has effectively removed itself from any role as a Mideast broker, and those close to him say it’s time to look for alternatives.

The draft resolution, without naming any country, expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

It also “calls upon all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the holy city of Jerusalem,” citing a 1980 council resolution.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council at its monthly briefing on the Mideast political situation Monday ahead of the vote that a sovereign nation has “every right” to decide where to put its embassy.

The draft resolution reiterates a call to reverse “the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-state solution” that would see the states of Israel and the Palestine living side-by-side in peace. And it calls for intensified and accelerated international and regional efforts to achieve Middle East peace.