The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America today deplored the United Nations Security Council statement condemning Israel for the decision to expand municipal services to Jerusalem communities and outlying suburbs.
This decision, designed to insure Israel’s unity by maintaining municipal services within the Jerusalem metropolitan area, would neither change the status-quo in the West Bank nor in any way affect the status of the Palestinians in the city or territories, nor would it violate the Oslo accords.
The statement is completely unjustified since the areas covered within question are Jewish towns strictly within pre-1967 Israel. According to Oslo, Jerusalem is a final status issue, and there are no restrictions whatsoever on Israel’s activities in the city. Israel as a sovereign country has the right to choose its own capital and designate services as needed.
Many cities around the world have similar structures including San Francisco, Toronto, and Montreal.
The UN has never accepted Israeli rights and sovereignty in Jerusalem. This has long been central to the discriminatory treatment of Israel that has been demonstrated by the United Nations through its institutions, committees, and overall structure.
The Orthodox Union today opposes the UN statement as we have the UN resolutions on Jerusalem in the past including that one adopted in 1997 deeming Har Homa and East Jerusalem “occupied territories,” and similar subsequent resolutions taken in April 1997 and July 1997.
The United Nations refusal to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem makes Israel the only country in the world that does not have the sovereign right to choose its own capital.
The United Nations history of discrimination against Israel and its participation in the ongoing campaign waged by the many anti-Israeli currents in the United Nations has been ongoing for many years. One sided resolutions abound, which continue to prejudice the outcome of the peace process negotiations that are supposed to be negotiated between Israel and her peace partners, not determined by the world body.
The United Nations has allowed itself to be used as a political forum in which international pressure on Israel can be garnered and applied. We deeply oppose this United Nations statement as a manifestation of the one-sidedness that further diminishes chances for peace in the Middle East.