— Alan Elsner and Jennifer Packer, The Israel Project
U.S says “unwise” measure would break trust between Israeli and Palestinians.
An American veto Friday defeated a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlement activity as “illegal.” With only three exceptions (Eisenhower, G.H.W.Bush and G.W.Bush), American Presidents have wielded America’s veto as Israel’s last line of defense on the United Nations Security Council.
Calling it an “unwise” move for the peace process,
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice used the Obama administration’s first veto at the United Nations while the 14 other members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution.
Rice said the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue is to work toward a two-state solution.
U.S.: Only way to bring about peace is through direct negotiations
“The only way to reach that common goal is through direct negotiations between the parties with the active support of the United States and the international community,” she said. “Even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it” for them. “There simply are no shortcuts,” Rice added.
See responses from Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Marc Stanley and David Harris (NJDC), and Ronald Lauder (WJC) after the jump.
Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense; and State and Foreign Operations:
I commend the Obama administration for using its first veto at the United Nations to do the right thing and block today’s anti-Israel resolution.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder
The issue of settlements needs be negotiated bilaterally, in final-status talks, between Palestinians and Israelis. It is exclusively an issue for the two parties.
The adoption of this Security Council resolution would have placed the peace process in even greater jeopardy and lent credibility to illegitimate Palestinian “back door” efforts to establish a unilateral state by pre-determining the outcome of negotiations with Israel.
Ongoing unilateral moves to establish a Palestinian state outside the agreed negotiation framework between the sides, based on Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967, represent a gross violation of previous signed agreements between the PA and Israel.
The resolution text that was proposed to the Security Council further promoted the fallacy that the 1967 borders have any basis in law or history. They never existed nor were they ever part of any agreed upon documentation concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict and have no basis whatsoever, neither in law nor in fact. The World Jewish Congress therefore urges the United Nations to stop undermining, condoning, and abetting
efforts to assault Israel’s legal and diplomatic rights in ongoing negotiations over the future of the disputed territories.
National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Chair Marc R. Stanley and President and CEO David A. Harris:
On behalf of the National Jewish Democratic Council, we applaud the action this afternoon of President Barack Obama and his representative, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice. Once again, after days of unfortunate and unproductive speculation, our President stood alongside our democratic ally Israel in the Israel-obsessed United Nations.
We know just how hard this decision was, as any outcome of a vote on this resolution is truly unfortunate – including for Israel. Permitting today’s vote against Israel to proceed, the path President Obama and his Administration wouldn’t take, was clearly, understandably and correctly not an acceptable choice for them. But today’s outcome has deeply negative fallout as well. From further isolating the United States within the Security Council to potentially further inserting anti-Israel sentiment into the awakening of democratic fervor throughout the Arab world, and in so many other ways, this vote to stand by Israel does have negative consequences.
And therein lies the heart and mind of this President and this Administration. Throughout, and well beyond recent days, the President and his team have worked night and day on behalf of the critical U.S.-Israel relationship and with Israel’s needs at heart. On all sides of this complex calculus, this Administration has clearly heavily weighed Israel’s best interests.
We, like all Americans who hold dear the special U.S.-Israel relationship, owe President Obama and his Administration our deep collective appreciation for his stalwart support for the State of Israel – today and always.