WASHINGTON DC – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expressed its outrage at yesterday’s decision by the Bush Administration to vote against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling on Israel to repeal the Jerusalem Law that declares that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”
The negative vote by the Administration was a departure from past American votes on this issue. Usually, the U.S. abstains on such resolutions.
In their letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, ADC President Ziad J. Asali and Executive Vice President Khalil E. Jahshan characterized the U.S. vote as “shocking, because it directly violates long-held U.S. policy on the status of Jerusalem.” Asali and Jahshan rejected the rationale for the Administration’s vote presented yesterday by Ambassador John Negroponte, who claimed that the language of the resolution “prejudge(s) the status of Jerusalem.” Negroponte reiterated the traditional U.S. position that the future of Jerusalem should be “decided through negotiations between the parties.” Asali and Jahshan pointed out that, in fact, it is the Jerusalem Law, passed by the Israeli Knesset in 1980, that “clearly constitutes a unilateral attempt to prejudge the status of the city.” “With that law in place,” asked the ADC officials, “what is left for the parties to determine through direct negotiations?” The ADC letter also points out that the “unconscionable vote” at the UN managed to undermine the diminishing credibility of the United States and further isolate the Administration that found itself in the dubious company of such “great powers” as Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Costa Rica in supporting Israel.
The resolution passed with 154 countries in favor, 5 against and 6 abstaining.