The United Nations Security Council voted 14-1 on Dec. 18 in favour of a resolution aimed at undoing the American administration’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, the move was ultimately blocked, as the one vote against the resolution was that of the United States, which holds veto power as a permanent member of the council.
The draft of the resolution urged that the status of Jerusalem “be resolved through negotiations” and added 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
The words are indeed high-sounding, but knowing for whose benefit they were submitted – namely, for the double-headed PLO/Hamas hydra of Palestinian leadership – the words are nothing more than a low, shallow mocking of the truth.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly scorned any negotiations with Israel since the first days of the Obama administration in 2008. Apart from a short bogus period of three weeks in U.S. President Barack Obama’s first term – at the end of Israel’s self-imposed freeze on building homes in the West Bank – he has refused to join any diplomatic effort to reach peace with Israel.
Abbas showed his true attitude about peace with Israel long ago. Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered him control of east Jerusalem, but he refused. He refused to acknowledge any Jewish historical connection to the city. He refused to set aside the claim for the repatriation in Israel of all Palestinian “refugees.” He refused to declare an end to the Palestinian-Israel conflict. He refused to concede that Israel would be a state for Jews in the same manner that Palestine would be a state for Palestinians. He refused all offers, then he refused even to meet to discuss peace.
As for the statement in the resolution denying the right to alter “the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem,” the only government to have done so was that of Jordan in 1948.
With razor-sharp wire, Jordan divided what had been a united city for the entirety of Jerusalem’s 3,000-year existence prior to 1948. It forcibly expelled Jewish families from the Old City, destroyed all synagogues, despoiled Jewish cemeteries and permanently denied Jews from living or worshipping there. In 1967, Israel reunited what Jordan had divided, restored the Jewish presence in the Old City, and has since protected all religious sites and permitted access to worshippers of all religions.
Between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan ruled east Jerusalem and the West Bank, no attempt was made by any Arab government, let alone any Palestinian leadership, to create a self-governing, autonomous or independent Palestinian state. No attempt was made to install Jerusalem as a Palestinian state’s capital. And despite the dangerous demagogic fulminations of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, throughout the centuries that the Turks ruled the Middle East, no attempt was made to create an independent Palestinian state – or indeed, any independent Arab state in the region – or to raise the status of Jerusalem to a pilgrimage-worthy Muslim city. Ever.
If Jews have no claim to Jerusalem, then no people on Earth has a claim to any city. If Jews have no claim to Jerusalem, then Christianity must abandon and recast its theology, and western civilization must find new historic and philosophical origins. If Jews have no claim to Jerusalem in the minds and hearts of Palestinian leaders, then there is no hope of a treaty of peace between the two peoples.
This has been the sad and sorry pattern of Palestinian “governance” since the 1920s. Wishing far more to deny the Jews than to actually provide for their own people, they prefer indignation to negotiation. They maintain the ruse of feigning interest in mutual coexistence with the Jewish state but do nothing to facilitate it. Pity the Palestinian people their unfit, unworthy leaders.