The UK knows they screwed up, now they are opposed to Resolution 2334

Theresa May

PM Theresa May has realised that she screwed up by supporting Resolution 2334 and that poor decision has been reinforced now that 28 EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels adjourned without issuing a statement adopting the Resolution.

May’s relationship with Israel is interesting. Two weeks ago she made a heart-warming speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel and then last week she?strongly condemned John Kerry?s anti-settlements speech.

May?s office retorted that ?we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.??It said in an emailed statement late Thursday that ?we are also clear that the settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long.?

Despite May’s apparent support of Israel, Britain helped write resolution 2334 and voted in favour of it even though the resolution claimed that East Jerusalem (including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) was now?Palestinian land. So why did this happen? Why the two contradictory stances?

Perhaps Britain takes its orders from America? Perhaps Britain voted in favour of the resolution in order to curry favour with the Obama administration just as New Zealand’s Murray McCully did. Perhaps May condemned Kerry?s speech in order to curry favour with Trump? A Washington Post article certainly thinks that it is a possibility.

The rare diplomatic spat between Britain and the United States, which was met with surprise by the State Department,?highlighted the fast-collapsing influence of the lame-duck White House. It also pointed to a vast reordering of international affairs expected after Donald Trump takes office in three weeks,?as U.S. allies position themselves to curry favor in the new order.

-Washington Post

Even more, interesting is the reason why many countries supported the resolution as most reports of behind the scenes drama reveal that the delegates were blindsided by the US abstaining. They simply did not expect it to be passed and may have voted differently if they had known what the US was intending to do.

The loss of the automatic US veto seems to have caused two new reactions:

One is that Israel responded harshly towards those who voted ?yes,? even though they had done it many times before without any complaint when the resolutions were vetoed. (That was a tactical error on Israel?s part.)

The other is that other members of the Security Council were blindsided by the US decision. For so long, they had assumed a US veto on anti-Israel resolutions, so they had an easy decision to make: vote ?yes? and keep their friends in the Arab world happy, while knowing deep down that the obsession that the UN has with Israel is absurd and counterproductive to its mission and one day they could become the victims of a witch hunt, too.

It is reasonable to assume that the UK might have voted ?no? if they had known that the US intended to abstain. What we can say for certain is that they are singing a different tune now that Trump is a few days away from becoming the president.

The Jerusalem Post has learned that France was pressing inside the meeting for the EU to adopt the Paris declaration, but these efforts were rebuffed by Britain and some Balkan states keen on getting off on the ?right foot? with US President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office on Friday.

The British Foreign Office gave voice to this sentiment on Sunday, when it refused to endorse the Paris declaration.

?We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them ? indeed, which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis ? and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American president, when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement,? a Foreign Office statement said.

-The JP