Battle over UNSC Resolution 2334

Despite Donald Trump’s intervention and Egypt’s withdrawal, Resolution 2334 came before the United Nations Security Council for consideration on 23rd December 2016.

Along with representatives of 13 other countries, the UK representative voted in favour. In this case because of the UK Government`s current thinking that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are illegal under international law.

UN Security Council meeting

To the dismay of the Israelis, the USA broke with its previous policy by declining to veto the resolution, thus allowing it to be approved.

However, after John Kerry made a speech on 28th December, justifying the USA`s abstention in the vote, Theresa May issued a rebuke through a Downing Street spokesman. That rebuke stated that John Kerry was wrong to put such a strong focus on the Israeli settlements and that he was also wrong to criticise the right-wing nature of the current Israeli government.

This has started a row between the USA and the UK, with the USA`s State Department expressing surprise at Theresa May’s statement and noting that the UK voted in favour of the anti-settlement resolution!

However, many in the USA are unhappy with their government’s behaviour in this matter. On 4th January Senate leaders called for repeal or fundamental alteration of UNSC resolution 2334.

And on 5th January the House of Representatives voted 342-80 to rebuke the UN for passing this resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction.

The battle over this resolution looks set to continue!