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On Jerusalem After Trump Move, UNSC Hosts These 18 Speeches, Summarized Here, No Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, December 8 -- UN senior administration officials confirmed to the Press at 5:30 pm on December 5 that President Trump would on December 6 not only recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital but also order the US State Department to act to move its embassy there. On December 6 in front of the UN Security Council chamber Ambassador Llorenti Soliz of Council member Bolivia said that if Trump makes the announcement, at 1 pm, he will ask for an open Security Council meeting. Inner City Press Periscope video here. When the meeting happened on December 8, all 15 members spoke, then Israel, Palestine and Jordan; then two stakeouts at which no questions were taken. Palestine's Mansour spoke of the need for Security Council action, but obviously the US could and would block such action. So here's fragments of what was said, highlighted by Uruguay quoting John Lennon:

Sweden's Olof Skoog: We requested this meeting, along with 7 others due to the repurcussions of the statement made by US president. We clearly disagree with the capital of Israel as Jerusalem and the move of the embassy. It contradicts international law; Jerusalem is a final status issue. Corpus separatum. Resolution 478 Council said making Jerusalem the capital was a violation of international law. All states up to now abided by the Council’s law. Last year 2334 Council will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 lines, including Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a holy city to the 3 Abrahamic religions. We need respect and tolerance to prevail. We should not forget the strong ties to Jerusalem of both Israelis and Palestinians, and that 40 percent of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are Palestinians. There is no alternative to the 2 state solution. And there is no Plan B. [Guterres says that all the time, just as Ban Ki-moon did. It must be in the water at the UN.

Egypt: We are confronted with a test of the rule of law. Our effort will not be crowned with success unless we work together within the framework of international law. Resolution 2334 reaffirmed that the SC does not recognize any alteration to the pre-1967 lines, including Jerusalem. Resolution 478 called for the withdrawal of all diplomatic missions from Jerusalem. Egypt denounces the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel and to move its embassy to Israel. We’d also like to stress that such unilateral decisions is a violation of international legitimacy and thus it has no legal impact on the status of Jerusalem, since it is a city under occupation.

 UK (outgoing Matthew Rycroft) - We are deeply concerned by continued developments on the ground that undermine the prospects for the 2-state solution. We will continue to press the parties to refrain from actions which make a viable peace difficult to achieve. I reaffirm our strong support for renewed peace negotiations. We strongly encourage the US administration to bring forward detailed proposals for an Israeli Palestinian resolution…we call on all parties to maintain calm and work together in a spirir of commitment to this common enterprise.

France's Delattre: The status of Jerusalem must be determined by the parties, purusan to the consensus that has prevailed. France recognizes no sovereignty over Jerusalem... All UN member states who established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem must withdraw them. 2334 was a reminder that no modification of the pre-1967 borders will be acknowledged by the international community, including modification to Jerusalem. Without an agreement on Jerusalem, there cannot be any peace agreement. Given its gravity, its central position in the ME, its critical significance and its role in the collective imagination, the Israel-Palestinian conflict and particularly Jerusalm is largely galvanizing…it is crucial not to give any pretext for any extremist acts in the region. There is no 2 state solution without an agreement, among the parties, on Jerusalem…we hope to bring the US back into the fold of the international consensus… We seek to speak truth by calling upon them to return to the negotiation table. There is no short cut in the path to peace…at stake is respect for international law…at stake is the conservation of the 2 state solution.

Bolivia (the requester, but not staker-out) - Bolivia indicates clearly, and unequivocally, what its position is. Not only is this against international law, this decision is extremely damaging…this will impact not only Israeli and Palestinians.

Uruguay (including John Lennon) - These are holy sites; yesterday a communiqué was issued by my government affirming our support to resolution 181 establishing a Jewish state with Jerusalem as corpus separatum... It’s been 30 years since John Lennon was assassinated. One of his most famous songs was Imagine, imagining a world where men could live in peace. John Lennon was a dreamer, but he’s not the only one. Italy (outgoing Cardi) -  Our position remains unchanged…we believee that the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of 2 states needs to be negotiated between Israel and Jerusalem. …until that moment, Italy will maintain its capital in Tel Aviv. Italy reiterates its commitment to working to the aim [of a 2 state solution] and contributing to the resumption of a meaningful peace.

US Nikki Haley: The Jewish people are patient….but Americans are less patient. For 22 years Americans have waited, and waited. This week Trump finally made the decison to no longer deny the will of the American people. The US recognizes the obvious that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The US has not taken a position on boundaries or border. Speicifics about sovereignty over Jerusalem are still to be decided by Palestine and Israel…. The US is not pre determining final status issues. We support a 2 state solution, of agreed to by the parties. Israel, like all nations, has the right to determine its capital city. Jerusalem is the home of Israels parliament, prime minister, supreme court. It is simple common sense that foreign embassies be located in it…the US took this step in full knowledge that it will raise questions and concerns…peace is advanced, not set back, when all parties are honest with each other. Change is hard. But we should never doubt what the truth can do. When we face the truth, believe in the human spirit and encourage each other, peace can prevail. Over many years, the UN has outrageously been the world’s foremost center of opposition to Israel. The US no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked at the UN. And the US will not be lectured to by any country…Israel will never be bullied into an agreement by the UN, or by any countries that have proven their disregard to the UN. This conflict is not just about the past. It must be about future generations. Palestinian and Israeli children both deserve a future of peace. When those children are grown, they should look back to the time when all parties negotiated for peace. Peace remains achievable. We must all do our part.

China: China is highly concerned at the recent developments regarding the status of Jerusalem. Any action of unilaterally changing the current status of Jerusalem will trigger confrontations and conflict in the region. Bear in mind the overall interest of peace and security in the region…China has always firmly supported and promoted the peace process in the middle east. The 2 state solution is the right way for the political settlement of the question of Palestine. Ethiopia:We are very concerned by the latest development surrounding Jerusale, because …it is bound to cause damage and undermine the hope for peace. Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations by the two parties. There is only one viable option, and that is the two state solution: two states living side by side in peace and security.

Kazakhstan: There is a unity among member states of the security council; any unilateral action to change the status quo is the cause of great concern. Kazakhstan’s position remains unchanged: maintain the status quo.

 Russia's Nebenzia: Washington’s decision was greeted with criticism by the Palestinians and the Arab and Muslim world. Palestinian factions making up the PLO and Hamas called for strikes and protest marches. In Moscow, the decision was greeted with serious concern. We are of the view that a fair and reliable settlement should be reached on the basis of international law, including the resolutions of the SC and the GA. We are worried that the new position announced by the US risks complicating the situation in Palestinian-Israeli relations and in the region on the whole. East Jerusalem would become the future capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem would become the capital of Jerusalem. We confirm our firm position that there is no alternative to a 2-state solution. Efforts to achieve this goal are worthy of support. We reiterate our proposal to hold a summit between the leaders of Palestine and Israel. We’ve already asked the Americans for an explanation of how they see the consequences of their step…we have drawn attention to the fears…that this might undermine negotiations on a 2 state solution. All of this was reflected in the decisions of the UNGA and UNSC.

 Japan, Bessho: The SC has closely followed the Palestinian issue in its monthly meetings. Japan’s position remains unchanged: Japan supports a 2 state solution. The final status of Jerusalem is a part of a range of issues that should be resolved on the basis of negotiations. Trump reiterated his support for a 2 state solution. Japan also notes the importance of the president’s acknowledgment that the final status and boundaries must be negotiated between the 2 parties…Japan is concerned that the announcement will lead to a worsening of the environment around the peace process. Japan has consistently reiterated this position. Japan is deeply worried about heightening tension on the ground. At such times, violence can easily snowball. Japan calls upon the parties to maintain calm and act in the interest of peace, not violence. We have seen various initiatives and proposals to bring both sides closer and japan calls on both Israelis and Palestinians to sincerely engage. We are committed to working with our partners to uphold a two state solution in which Israel and the future Palestinian state live side by side.

Palestine Mansour: Those who call for the US to withdraw is illegal, irresponsible, provocative decision that has no meaning except pleasing the illegal occupier, Israel: I would like to thank the 14 members of this Council for their principled positions on Jerusalem. We urge the Council to act quickly in light of the violations against Jerusalem’s legal status. The extremely regrettable announcement by US president Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and the decision to move its capital…the situation we face today has been blatantly instigated by an occupying power, rather than abiding by the UNSC’s resolutions. We have often lamented this impunity, but no often enough…the resounding rejections of this decision by world leaders is indicative of the immense concerns…we are grateful of the strong, principled positions expressed. The status of Jerusalem cannot be unilaterally altered by any state.  Jerusalem’s significance to Palestinian people, Muslims and Christians, cannot be over-stated. There can be no just and lasting solution to the Palestine question without a just solution to the question of Jerusalem. We call again on the United States to rescind this decision and rectify this matter.

 Israel, Danny Danon: This marks a milestone for Israel, for peace, and for the world. Jerusalem has, and always will be, the capital of Israel, and the embassy of the US belongs in Jerusalem. I thank President Trump, VP Pence, Amb Haley, and the American people. 3000 years ago King David declared Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish people.  Nearly 70 years ago this week, shortly after Israel declared independence, Ben Gurion said “Jerusalem is an integral part of Israel and the historical capital. No UN vote can alter that fact.” President Trump’s decision was so important. The US has the moral courage to right these historic wrongs. Middle Eastern capitals are not known for tolerance. They are not known for freedom of religion. But not in Israel. In Jerusalem all people practice their religions freely. We pledge to safeguard the holy places of all religions… Every member of this council must send a clear message there is never an excuse for violence. Violence must never be used as a threat. Join with our American friends. Move your embassies to Israel." By contrast, this was the request: "In light of the statement today by the President of the United States regarding the status of Jerusalem, the delegations of Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the UK, and Uruguay kindly request the Presidency to organize an emergency meeting of the Council, with a briefing by the Secretary-General, to be held in the Chamber before the end of this week. On behalf of the delegations of Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the UK, and Uruguay." The meeting has been set for December 8, in the late morning. But Antonio Guterres, who canceled the UN noon briefing on December 6 for his question-less stakeout on the topic, will NOT be the briefer. Inner City Press on December 7 asked Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Farhaq Haq why, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: on Jerusalem, I wanted to ask you, because a number of ambassadors were saying that they were hoping that the Secretary-General would be the briefer.  Is there some reason that it's Mr. Mladenov  and not António Guterres? Deputy Spokesman:  We feel it's best at this particular point in time for Mr. Mladenov, as the lead expert on the ground, to provide the details." We'll have more on this. Egypt was among the requesters - but Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom to which UN DPI under Alison Smale has purported to give Inner City Press' long time office wasn't present on December 5, 6 or 7, as Smale was informed, and hasn't asked a single question in two years. After Trump spoke, Jordan's State Minister for Media Affairs Mohammad al-Momani, said that "'this recognition is legally invalid as it enshrines the Israeli occupation of the eastern part of the city, which was occupied by Israel in June 1967,' the minister said, pointing out that the UN Security Council resolution No. 478 doesn't recognize the Israeli Basic Law on Jerusalem and calls on countries that have established embassies in Jerusalem to close them. He added that all of Israel's actions in Jerusalem, which aim at changing its character and legal status, including its declaration as its capital, are null and void, as confirmed by relevant UN Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions No. 465, 476 and 478. He indicated that the Kingdom and Turkey had agreed to hold an OIC summit and foreign ministers' meeting in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss the issue." Earlier at the stakeout they started setting up for a belated media availability by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, less than an hour after he excluded the Press from a ceremony always Open Press in the past, amid the multiple scandals already surrounding his administration. Then just before noon they canceled the UN's daily noon press briefing on all other topics, from North Korea to Yemen to Cameroon, in order to promote Guterres' stakeout at 1:30 pm.  But when Guterres and his entourage - minus Katrin Hett in North Korea and Alison Smale God knows where -- showed up, Spokesman Dujarric said, "No questions." This is a new low. Here's Guterres' statement: "From day one as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides. I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. It has been so for centuries and it will always be. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear : there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B. It is only by realizing the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations, that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples will be achieved.  For my part as the United Nations Secretary-General, I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations and to realize this vision of a lasting peace for both people." From the UN's December 5 noon briefing, by Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric: "on Jerusalem, I mean, like you we have seen the press reports.  I'm not aware of any direct communication between the US and the Secretariat on this particular issue here in New York.  We obviously await to see an official announcement." We'll see what happens on December 6, after Guterres swears in his censor in chief Alison Smale, who has upheld without even attempting to defend the nearly two year restrictions on the investigative Press which most aggressively covers the UN, in favor of n0 show, no question Egypt state media Akhbar al Yom. The UN is not only corrupt but also disgusting. Back on March 22 when Palestine's Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour came to the UN Security Council stakeout after a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, he said it was a good meeting but that it remains unclear if Guterres' report on Israeli settlements on March 24 will be in writing or merely oral. On the choreographed withdrawal of the ESCWA report on the topic, a question was not answered, but Mansour said he was going to meet the Security Council president but the press could wait for a read-out in an hour. Periscope video here. Some media were blocked from following Mansour down the second floor hallway and complained; for more than a year, following trying to cover the UN Ng Lap Seng bribery scandal in the UN Press Briefing Room, Inner City Press has been banned from that second floor hall, following or not. This remains the case in December 2017...


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