Today, the UN voted by a margin of 128 – 9, with 35 abstentions, “in favor of a draft measure that makes US President Trump’s Jerusalem decision ‘null and void,'” as Deutsche Welle reported.
Now, I wouldn’t have been as irritated if the vote was for resolution that proclaimed, “guys, we really wish you hadn’t done this,” rather than this “null and void” language. And, as Eylon A. Levy writes at The Forward, there’s a lot of hypocrisy in this proclamation: the status of “west” Jerusalem as a part of Israel is not under question, except by those who completely deny Israel’s right to exist, and, at the same time, the so-called “international community” is perfectly OK with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s declaration of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Folks, it’s nonsensical to say that until there is a Peace Agreement leading to the establishment of the State of Palestine, no nation may formally acknowledge the capital of Israel to be Jerusalem, because this is a so-called “final status issue,” or, rather, a carrot to be dangled in front of the Israelis to ensure their cooperation, so that the Israelis may not receive the “prize” of being able to designate their capital in an internationally-recognized fashion like any other nation until the UN, that is, the Arab World, deems them worthy.
It is further nonsensical to declare 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council,
both with respect to declaring that the United States’ action could possibly be “null and void” and with the idea that the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital changes the “status” of the city rather than acknowledging the reality that this is the seat of government.
The Six Day War was 50 frickin’ years ago. The idea that any day now, the UN is going to broker a peace agreement, where they have failed and failed and failed thus far, is preposterous. Near as I can tell, the Palestinians are not interested in peace, if it requires any concessions on their part, because they — or their leaders, at any rate — would rather blame the Israeli occupation for their poverty than face the difficult reality of building up their country. There’s also the matter of reports that Palestinian children are relentlessly propagandized into believing that Jews are villainous, and that they see prolific childbearing as a sort of “demographic war” against Israel, regardless of the cost they themselves bear in further intensifying their poverty (Gaza in particular is on tap to become even the most densely populated “country”/country-like region in the world, replacing Singapore and Hong Kong). As for the Israelis, well, so far as I understand, there’s a batch of them that don’t want to give up the West Bank, as part of historical Israel (“Judea and Samaria”), a batch that will accept peace at any cost, and the majority that are resigned to the status quo if the alternative is land surrenders that don’t produce the peace they’re designed to achieve.
I don’t know what the way forward is. Over three years ago, I read a book by Caroline Glick that proposed a variant on a “one-state solution” in which Gazans are left to their own devices while Israel incorporates the West Bank; she rejects claims that this is demographic suicide for Israel’s Jews because, she says, census figures for the West Bank have been fraudulent and have double-counted East Jerusalemites as well as Palestinians living in “refugee camps” outside the territory’s borders, who she doesn’t envision being permitted to return. Is that preposterous? Maybe so — it’s certainly far outside the parameters of what the UN and the other self-proclaimed peace-brokers have declared to be acceptable. But those self-proclaimed peace-brokers are doing a sucky job at it, so maybe it’s time for something else.
And this is, as is often the case, the point at which I invite readers to jump in, and share their solutions. Folks, what would you do?
Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AThe_Western_Wall_and_Dome_of_the_rock_in_the_old_city_of_Jerusalem.jpg; By Yourway-to-israel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons