Israel and the US agreed on Wednesday to work together to overturn an anti-settlement resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council in December. The task is an uphill struggle, since it would require a new motion, a majority on the Council, and no veto from any of the permanent members.
During discussions in Jerusalem, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed to building a long-term plan to undo the resolution passed in the last few days of Barack Obama’s presidency, Channel 2 reported.
Netanyahu also reportedly said he hoped that Haley would help to persuade the US to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. Israel captured the plateau in the 1967 Six Day War from Syria and effectively annexed it in 1981. The international community never accepted Israel’s move.
The UN resolution, which passed in December 2016 with 14 yes votes and an American abstention, said Israeli settlements have “no legal validity” and represent “a flagrant violation under international law.” Israel reacted furiously to the resolution, denouncing it as “shameful.”
US President Donald Trump condemned the vote at the time, questioning the efficacy of the United Nations, and promising that “things will be different” when he became president.
Haley also promised a different approach from the previous administration’s.
“The days of Israel bashing are over” at the UN, she told the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby in Washington, DC, in March. “That happened but it will never happen again,” she said of Resolution 2334. “You’re not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them,” she said
Furthermore, she declared then, when Resolution 2334 was approved “the entire country felt a kick in the gut. We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever.”
Haley, on her first-ever visit to Israel on Wednesday, told Netanyahu that she was actively working to change attitudes toward Israel at the UN.
“We’re starting to see a turn in New York. I think they know they can’t keep responding in the way they’ve been responding,” she referring to countries that routinely bash the Jewish state at the UN’s various agencies.
Overturning Resolution 2334 would require a new Security Council motion with the support of a majority of its members, and not vetoed by China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States.
Netanyahu also asked Haley to continue to pressure the UN Human Rights Council, which the prime minister sees as a way to thwart the anti-Israel resolutions routinely debated by that group.
On Tuesday, at a speech in Geneva, Haley had urged the council to abandon Agenda Item 7 (“The human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”), which singles out Israel for perpetual censure. If the 47-member body failed to do so, the US would quit and seek to promote human rights in other forums, she threatened.