Message from Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, as
read out at London rally against U.N. Resolution 2334, today, January 8, 2017.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I congratulate you for standing up today to protest U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334. I believe that the UK’s vote for this lopsided resolution—not to mention its substantial role in crafting the text—has set back the cause of peace, and harmed the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians alike.
On 23 December, UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft took the floor right after the vote to say that his government, “worked tirelessly to secure a balanced final text.”
While we should all note the Foreign Office admission that the UK did indeed work tirelessly with the Palestinians in crafting this resolution, we have a right to ask: Is 2334 really a balanced text?
When the U.N. sends a message to the Palestinians that they need not negotiate, but can instead just wait for the U.N. to give them everything they demand; and when paragraph 9 of this resolution refers to all kinds of international peace conferences, yet makes no mention whatsoever of direct, bilateral negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When the resolution endorses the scandalous 2004 Advisory Opinion of the World Court, which denied Israel’s right to defend itself from Gaza rockets, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When the resolution implicitly encourages efforts to prosecute Israeli leaders and officers before the International Criminal Court, or before UK courts as in the case of former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When paragraph 5 of the text calls on states to take action, and implicitly encourages campaigns seeking to boycott Israeli products, companies and citizens, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, J Street, and other defenders of Resolution 2334, insist that the resolution condemned Palestinian terrorism and incitement, while in fact the actual text, in paragraphs 6 and 7, nowhere attributes these crimes to Palestinians, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
On the contrary, every day the U.N. itself is complicit with Palestinian incitement when its UNRWA school teachers and principals—as we will further expose in the coming days—are posting pictures of Hitler and videos of Hamas terror attacks on their Facebook pages. You should all be aware that this UN agency, UNRWA, receives 80 million pounds a year directly from the UK, and even more via the EU.
And when the resolution’s paragraph 1 blames Israel as a “major obstacle” to peace, yet says nothing about the Palestinian refusal to negotiate directly with Israel, and its rejection of countless peace offers, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When Israel’s leading center-left figures and proponents of a two-state solution—including Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni—have unanimously condemned this resolution as dangerous and harmful to peace, and when, by contrast, 2334 was cheered by not only Abbas and Fatah, but also by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When cornerstone resolution 242 from 1967, which deliberately refrained from defining the 1949 Armistice Lines as final borders, is now rewritten by new language in paragraph 3 of the resolution, which now enshrines the “4 June 1967 lines,” did the UK really secure a balanced final text?
When Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall, the holiest sites in Judaism, together with the Jewish Quarter, are all defined by this resolution as “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” did the UK really secure a balanced final text
Ladies and Gentlemen:
When it wants to, the UK knows how to stand up at the U.N. for real balance, for the British values of decency and fair play.
We saw the UK show such principles and courage earlier this year. At UNESCO, in both April and October, the UK rightly voted to oppose an inflammatory and one-sided resolution, drafted by the Palestinians and submitted by the Islamic states, which sought to erase Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem.
We saw the UK show principles and courage at the UN Human Rights Council in March, when they spoke out against the creation of a new database which seeks to blacklist companies doing business with Jewish communities living over the green line, including in Jerusalem.
And on a number of occasions, when I have been interrupted in that body by the Syrians, the Cubans, and other dictatorships, the UK has defended my right to speak, for which I am grateful.
Too often, however, the UK joins with the U.N. in singling out of Israel — even as they are involved in secret deals to vote barbaric regimes such as Saudi Arabia onto the Human Rights Council.
Looking forward, we have a right to demand: After the UK this year supported 15 out of 20 anti-Israel resolution at the General Assembly, will they do the same in 2017?
After the UK supported an absurd resolution at the UN’s World Health Organization, which effectively condemned Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights, will they do the same in 2017?
Ladies and Gentlemen, with your courage to speak out, and determination to take action, let us join hands to ensure the UK is doing everything to truly secure balanced resolutions at the U.N. — and to make this world a better place.