December 6 marks the first anniversary of President Trump’s historic and ground-breaking announcement to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. President Trump’s decision flew in the face of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 reaffirming that:
“the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter conclusively substantiate Israel is not in violation of international law in reconstituting the Jewish National Home in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (West Bank), and designating Jerusalem as its capital.
The United Nations General Assembly has yet again shown its total ignorance of this long-established international law with its latest resolution on Jerusalem on 30 November misleadingly declaring Israel’s actions in Jerusalem “illegal and therefore null and void”.
The preamble to the Jerusalem Embassy Act overwhelmingly passed by the United States Senate (93-5) and the House (374-37) on 24 October 1995 sets out the following facts that underscore the total lack of legal and moral integrity of the United Nations:
1. Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.
2. Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
3. The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.
4. The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.
5. From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan.
6. In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.
7. Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city.
8. The United States maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.
9. In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry.The United Nations - in discarding these inconvenient truths – has done the cause of world peace a grave disservice whilst the groundwork for a humanitarian disaster affecting both Arabs and Jews is being plotted by the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.
President Trump made it crystal clear that his decision was:
“not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved”.Trump’s principled stand on Jerusalem is morally justified and accords with international law. Guatemala has already moved its Embassy to Jerusalem – Brazil is planning to follow.
The United Nations continues to ignore Trump’s message at its peril and to its eternal shame.
(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article – is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” – one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have
graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)