SOURCE: JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
Might does not make right. This was expressed clearly by the vast majority of the world countries when they defied pressure and intimidation and voted at the UN General Assembly in favour of a motion rejecting a US decision to recognise the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) emergency session on Jerusalem was convened Thursday specifically to overrule the US veto earlier this week of a Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling the US decision as null and void and urging Washington to rescind it.
True, the General Assembly resolution does not have the force of law, being only a recommendation. Its political import and implications are, nevertheless, far reaching.
UN General Assembly resolutions reflect the conscience and the will of the international community at large on issues that threaten regional or international peace and security.
The just adopted UNGA resolution once again referred to Jerusalem’s unique spiritual, religious and cultural features and viewed the holy city as a final status issue to be freely negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Like the just defeated UNSC resolution, the UNGA resolution deeply regretted recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem, thus alluding to President Donald Trump’s controversial position on Jerusalem without naming him.
The operative paragraphs of the resolution reaffirmed past UN resolutions on Jerusalem and considered any decision or action that “purports to alter the character, status or demographic composition of Jerusalem as having no legal effect and therefore null and void”.
The overwhelming support to the resolution came therefore as a strong rebuke to the US for its defiance of practically the entire international community.
Yet the US remained defiant. President Trump said in so many words on the eve of the UNSC’s debate of the issue of Jerusalem that he is issuing an ultimatum to all nations which oppose his position on Jerusalem by threatening to cut down or withdraw completely US financial or economic aid to them. So much for democracy and free will!
This intimidation along with extortion tactics continued during the consideration of the same issue by the UN General Assembly. US Ambassador Nikky Haley, in defiance of the world community and the principle of justice, said that the decision about where the US embassy would be located is strictly a US decision that the UN cannot and must not interfere with, warning that her country was “taking names” of countries opposing its decision. Haley was thus ignoring the many UN resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the fact that Jerusalem is an occupied city, that the US was supposed to be playing the role of an “honest” broker of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and that justice will eventually be achieved for the Palestinian people no matter how long it would take.
Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of the UNGA did not think like the US and did not cave in to Washington’s pressure and intimidation, voting for what they thought was right.
Never before in the history of the UN did any member of the UN openly dared to intimidate other member states to follow in its footsteps or face the consequences! This open extortion tactic is alien to the UN and should be avoided at all costs especially by a permanent member of the UNSC irrespective of the merits or demerits of the criticisms levelled against the UN and its members.
What the US administration should have done under the circumstances is to inform the UNGA that it will take due note of its resolution and give it appropriate consideration instead of maintaining a defiant posture.
The friendly US people are not to blame for the decision by their administration and should be aware that instead of siding with one party of the conflict, their country can be a strong force for achieving justice and consequently peace.
They have to realise that the 12 million Palestinian people — half of them living on their land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea and the rest in the diaspora — will not vanish in thin air, will not accept any substitute for their homeland and will not relinquish their rights to Jerusalem as the capital of their state. They are ready to do it peacefully, or to wait no matter how long it takes.
Their aspirations, as shown by Thursday’s vote, are supported by the overwhelming majority of the world countries who still believe in justice and peace.