The recent United Nations Security Council resolution that condemns Israeli settlement activity will create “a tailwind for violence and terror,” Yair Lapid, the former Finance Minister who now leads one of Israel’s biggest opposition parties, told reporters Friday.
The resolution passed 14-0 with the United States abstaining. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power chose not to use her veto privilege, which would have blocked the resolution.
Lapid told reporters before the vote that when it came to the resolution, there was “no coalition or opposition,” as the entire political establishment held similar views. Because the resolution also condemns activity in eastern Jerusalem, “there is no Israeli government, ever, that can accept that.”
The resolution could open the door for sanctions against Israel or other actions against Israel in international fora such as the International Criminal Court, he predicted. Lapid explained that the resolution essentially tells Israel, “we are pushing you to go to the negotiation table to negotiate the future borders, but what we did is pre-rule what the borders are. This, of course, is impossible.”
He also observed that the resolution’s focus on the 1949 armistice lines ignores more recent developments, such as the 2004 letter from President George W. Bush to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stating, “It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”
Lapid’s call for the United States to veto the resolution was echoed by prominent Democrats, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) and minority whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D – Md.).
A complete recording of the call is embedded below.
[Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90 ]