Palestinians aim for UN after Trump announcement

Rejecting the Americans as a possible broker in a Middle East peace process, Palestinian leaders have shifted tactics...

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 8:24 AM
Updated: Dec 18, 2017 8:24 AM

Rejecting the Americans as a possible broker in a Middle East peace process, Palestinian leaders have shifted tactics, aiming for the United Nations to nullify President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while simultaneously trying to get other countries to recognize a Palestinian state.

A UN Security Council resolution trying to annul Trump's announcement, introduced by Egypt, could be put to a vote early this week, according to Israeli officials, though the United States will almost certainly veto the resolution. That vote could come as early as Monday.

Speaking last week in Istanbul following an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear that many Muslim countries no longer view the Americans as an honest broker in any peace process.

"We are starting initiatives at the UN to nullify America's decision on Jerusalem," Erdogan said.

If, as expected, the resolution doesn't pass at the Security Council, Erdogan, echoed by Palestinian leaders, said he would pursue a similar resolution in the United Nations General Assembly, where a simple majority would allow a non-binding resolution to pass. Even if a General Assembly resolution is non-binding, its potential passage would show overwhelming consensus in opposition to Trump.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, slammed the proposed resolution. "The Palestinians are continuing to try to rewrite history. No vote or discussion will change the clear reality -- Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel forever. We will continue to struggle for the historic truth, and this time, together with our allies," Danon said, alluding to the Americans.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley remains one of the most popular Trump administration figures in Israel for her defense of the country and her attacks on Iran.

Though other nations have volunteered to host peace negotiations, there has never been a true alternative to the United States. President Jimmy Carter stood between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin when the two countries signed their 1979 peace agreement. Bill Clinton was on hand for the signing of the Oslo Accords in in 1993 between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. A year later, Clinton was there again as Rabin signed a peace treaty with Jordanian King Hussein.

By contrast, a French initiative fizzled last year into promises of economic incentive packages for both sides. Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to host the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Moscow last year, though his proposal may have been more a jab at former President Barack Obama, whose popularity in Israel was crashing.

Despite many Muslim states rejecting the Trump administration as an honest broker of peace, the White House insists they are still pursing what Trump has dubbed "the ultimate deal," a final status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

On Friday, the White House, which has so far kept mum about its peace plan, gave the slightest hint to its formulation when a senior administration official said, "We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel. But as the President said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement."

The statement was met with incredulity by Palestinian leaders. A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, "This American position proves once again that the current US administration is completely out of the peace process." Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinians would not accept any changes to the 1967 border, the green line that delineates East and West Jerusalem. The Old City of Jerusalem -- including the sites holy to the three Abrahamic faiths -- sits in East Jerusalem.

Previous negotiations have seen the sides accept -- in principle -- the idea of mutually accepted land swaps. The Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank would be incorporated into Israel; in exchange, the Palestinians would receive land that is currently part of Israel. The comments from Abu Rudeineh suggest a hardening of the Palestinian negotiating position, making it harder to pursue a peace process, rather than the opposite.

Jerusalem has always been the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with every square inch considered sacred, if not for religious reasons, then for political aspirations.

Palestinian leaders plan on meeting Monday night to discuss their next steps beyond the attempts to pass a United Nations resolution.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 526685

Reported Deaths: 9684
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1958054760
Riverside38487738
Orange38066653
San Bernardino34017477
San Diego30516568
Kern21228151
Fresno15759138
San Joaquin11958180
Alameda11909192
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare9990193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8176131
Ventura787777
San Francisco698961
Santa Barbara652663
San Mateo5744120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma311339
Madera211432
Placer195318
San Luis Obispo192616
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa9809
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta3979
Colusa3574
Mendocino3419
Glenn3321
Nevada3161
Tehama2461
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1451
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo641
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 86°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 84°
Red Bluff
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 90°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 84°
Much cooler temperatures and the potential for mountain thunderstorms are ahead in your Wednesday forecast. Thunderstorms will result in increased concerns for fire danger. Much hotter temperatures are ahead for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events