U.N. Security Council fails to pass Palestinian statehood resolution


A Palestinian-backed U.N. Security Council resolution setting a deadline for a peace deal with Israel failed to garner sufficient votes for passage. Both the United States and Australia voted against the resolution on Tuesday.

The resolution was aimed at achieving a full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank by late 2017. Eight nations on the 15-member council votes yes, two voted no and five abstained. Nine votes were required for passage. .

Had nine votes been obtained, the United States was expected to exercise its Security Council veto.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, called the draft resolution “deeply imbalanced” and slammed the council for the unusual move of putting the resolution to a vote without any debate.


“We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows as well: Peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must come at the negotiating table,” Power said.

“This text addresses the concerns of only one side,” she said. “It would undermine efforts to get back to an atmosphere that achieves two states for two peoples.”

The deadlines in the resolution, Power noted, “take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

Jewish groups praised the Obama administration for voting against the resolution.

The Jewish Federations of North America praised the United State’s support. “As Vice President Joe Biden said before thousands of representatives from Jewish Federations across the country less than two months ago, ‘There is no friend of Israel like the United States of America and Israel has no friend like the United States.’ Today we yet again saw how truly profound that promise and commitment remains,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA board of trustees.

“It was the United States’ vote against the resolution that ensured its rejection and we are deeply grateful for this administration’s efforts in defense of the Jewish state of Israel,” Siegal said in a statement.

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of The Rabbinical Assembly, criticized the resolution. “This unilateral action by the Palestinians does not serve the cause of peace, acknowledge Israel’s security needs, or advance the prospect of a two-state solution. We commend the strong leadership of the Obama administration — particularly the important work of Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power — for their opposition,” she stated.

Greg Rosenbaum, chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council, noted that “the Palestinian proposed resolution sought to set an arbitrary deadline for a peace deal while ignoring the legitimate security needs of the state of Israel. Simply put, this is completely unacceptable.” 

The National Council of Young Israel called the Palestinian Authority’s request an “ill-conceived and ill-advised attempt to circumvent the peace process through yet another unilateral effort.”

The Palestinian Authority “chose to grandstand on the world stage once again. The submission of this counterproductive resolution is yet another reminder of just how uninterested [P.A. President]Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are in pursuing a lasting peace agreement with Israel. The peace that we all yearn for can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties and not by any other means,” the NCYI said in a statement.

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Chair Susan W. Turnbull and Rabbi Steve Gutow, president, issued a statement praising the Obama Administration for its “strong stand in support of a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians in opposition to a unilateral proposal that would have perpetuated conflict between the parties.

In a related move, the AJC denounced Abbas’s application for membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling it “an unconscionable blow to the peace process.”

Abbas announced Wednesday at a Ramallah rally celebrating the 50th anniversary of his Fatah party that he had signed the Rome Statute, the ICC founding treaty.

“Mahmoud Abbas has done his utmost to sabotage the path to a sustainable two-state solution,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “In the eight months since Abbas tragically walked away from U.S.-sponsored direct peace talks with Israel, Palestinian leadership has energetically sought to internationalize the conflict, sideline Israel, resort to incitement, and antagonize the United States. This Palestinian strategy is a surefire prescription for extended conflict, not for peace.”

Harris continued, “Abbas must be held accountable for taking repeated actions that set back the peace process. No doubt, the White House and Congress will be evaluating our relations with the Palestinian Authority, as they should. Actions have consequences.”

JTA contributed to this article


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