Before Christmas the UN Security Council was voting for resolution No. 2334, condemning Israeli settlements in biblical Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank. The vote could have big consequences for Israel. The Palestinians hope that the resolution will force Israel to give them land without giving anything in return. The situation analyses head of middle East Bureau of the CBN, Chris Mitchell from Jerusalem.
MHN: Chris, what the UN resolution means for the status of Jerusalem?
Chris Mitchell, head of the CBN middle East Bureau:
Well, Jerusalem is in fact divided in half. The resolution speaks of the Eastern part of Jerusalem. This refers to the Old city, the walls of which more than three thousand years of Jewish history. There and the Western wall and city of David and mount of olives — all the things that we are so familiar with from the Bible. In fact, the resolution gives it all to the Palestinians, declaring the land occupied Palestinian territory. In General, this abrupt change in the status of Jerusalem.
MHN: How will this UN resolution affected the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? For example, if she puts Israel in a weaker negotiating position?
No doubt. Because negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians for nearly fifty years was conducted on the basis of resolution No. 242 of 1967, the essence of which is “land for peace”. It included part of the Sinai, the Gaza strip and the West Bank. Israel returned the Sinai, Gaza, and returned some West Bank. But now, under the new resolution, the entire West Bank in the 1967 borders is declared the occupied Palestinian territory. Thus Israel loses all leverage.
In addition, the resolution discourages the Palestinians have every incentive to negotiate. If they can get what they want, through such an international body like the United Nations, they have no need or desire to sit down at the negotiating table.
And last: it greatly complicates any compromise with the Palestinian leader. After all, if the international community has recognized Jerusalem and the entire West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territory, the Palestinians can go to any compromise, meaning something smaller than the already known position of the international community?
MHN: just a few days before Obama leaves office. What more can he do before you leave the White house?
Many here in Israel and some in the United States, concerned that the January 15 at the Paris peace conference would have ratified the statements John Kerry made only a few days ago, and six points in his last major speech as Secretary of state. First, it will be done, and then, two days later, from the 17th to the 19th of January, the UN Security Council may meet again. And there is a fear that the Obama administration will make another attempt to delegitimize Israel. Some even attempt to predict the recognition of Palestine as a full UN member.
MAN: wow! Chris, what Christians around the world can do right now to stand up for Israel?
I think, first of all, they can pray for peace in Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is at the epicenter of this whole undertaking resolution. In addition, they can pray that the United States has not experienced any negative consequences of the vote, because many now remember the verses in Genesis 12:2 and 3, where it is said that those who bless Israel will be blessed and whoever curses Israel is cursed. Therefore, they believe that the United States may face something bad because of the resolution. And pray that in the next few weeks neither the United Nations nor at the Paris peace conference did not happen anything that could contribute to further delegitimization of the Jewish state.
MHN: Chris, thank you for the great comments!
By the way, you can follow all the news from Israel and the Middle East on our page “the meeting Place — Jerusalem.” You can find it on the website cbnnews.com.