In case someone missed this today, Rep Lee Zeldin’s comment about Obama’s last days is particularly worrisome.
In April, UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board met in Paris and adopted a resolution that spoke solely of Muslim ties to the Temple Mount.
The 21-members of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee vote on the matter as it wrapped up its 40th session in Istanbul.
The resolution was initially submitted by Jordan and the PA as part of the bureaucratic process by which the World Heritage Committee reaffirmed the placement of Jerusalem and its Old City ramparts on its World Heritage in Danger list.
As part of the confirmation process Palestinians and Jordan introduced a text attacking Israeli actions, including archeological digs within Jerusalem’s Old City which continue to unearth proof of Jewish ties to the area. But although the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, it is referred to solely by its Muslim name of al-Haram a-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). Jerusalem Post
On October 13, 2016, Twenty-four nations voted in favor of the motion, 26 abstained and only six voted against. The six countries that voted in support of Israel were the United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia.
“Today UNESCO adopted its second decision this year denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site for more than 3,000 years,” Netanyahu said.
Yet on December 23, when the United Nations again brought up another resolution, Samantha Power to abstained. So what changed? Well, for one Hillary and the Democrats lost the election between the two votes. For another Obama is venting his spleen and finding ways to create serious problems for Trump even as his term ends.
The Security Council approved the resolution with 14 votes, with the US abstaining. Egypt withdrew the resolution on Thursday but New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal, who were co-sponsors of the draft resolution, requested the vote be done on Friday.
Aljazerra wrote the following: “President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing behind-the-scenes diplomatic activity. “The US administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back.” A senior US official adamantly denied the accusation.
Samantha Power argued after the vote that opposing settlement expansion was consistent with the bipartisan consensus accepted by every single US president of both parties since Ronald Reagan, in comments that could be seen as a criticism of Trump’s position.
“This resolution reflects trends that will permanently destroy the two state solution if they continue on their current course,” Power said in a speech before the chamber. (wimp!)
I doubt Ambassador Pickering would have sat idly by and abstained given his statement below. It is disgusting that some twenty plus years later and three increasingly vocal anti-Israeli presidents have brought us to this point.
“Since the end of the 1967 war, the U.S. has regarded Israel as the occupying power in the occupied territories, which includes the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The U.S. considers Israel’s occupation to be governed by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the 1949 Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of civilian populations under military occupation.”
Thomas Pickering, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – November 27, 1989
Some who support the Palestinian allegation harken back to Ronald Reagan but read the following quote and I don’t think anyone can say he adamantly supported the end to settlement though it may have been applicable at the time. He had no way of knowing the events as they have unfolded over the years when this was first noted. I personally think he would have been more determined to solve the issue had he known how aggressively the Islamic jihadists have behaved or the United Nations had changed.
“The Reagan Plan states that ‘the United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements during the transition period (5 years after Palestinian election for a self-governing authority). Indeed, the immediate adoption of a settlements freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks. Further settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of Israel and only diminishes the confidence of the Arabs that a final outcome can be free and fairly negotiated.”
Reagan Plan – September 1982
Nothing in that statement specifically says that East Jerusalem is at issue. It did give a specific period of time – 5 years and self-governing as parameters. Given Thomas Pickering’s quote 5 years later, it is obvious the US supported Israel’s actions at the time.
In the original documentation, Jerusalem and a small area around it were deliberately marked neither Israel nor Palestine because those preparing believed it was important to maintain a non-biased, internationally significant historical site for all, regardless of religion.
According to original documents the UN could be considered at fault as much as either Israel or Palestine. If they had insisted that the city of Jerusalem were only held in the hands of international jurisdiction, then maybe a lot of the problems from then until now would have been stopped. Yet rather than handling their responsibility in the formation of Israel and Palestine, they abdicated to the pressure of the Arabs.
Events over the intervening years to me have born out the calamitous results of their decisions and inconsistencies by fueling further dissension and aggressions. Their obvious lack of fortitude in dealing in particular with Islamic Palestine who has never been willing to cooperate has consistently created problems. More than once Israel attempted to live by the UN resolutions only to find that the Palestinians did not. Poor actions or waffling by the UN created this dilemma. The UN resolution just approved as far as I am concerned ought to be invalidated until the new US president takes office and further discussions can be initiated.
Legal and financial actions against the UN and those who forced the issue before Obama ends his term should be considered for this and other UN interferences as well over the last few years.
During the Reagan era – Administration withdrew from UNESCO, cut off America’s contribution to the UN Fund for Population Activities, cast the single vote against a World Health Organization code for infant formula, and did not oppose the Kassebaum amendment reducing America’s contribution to the General Assembly by 25% unless the UN should amend its charter. I can only imagine his response today but I think Trump’s will be epic.