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National Security & Defense

Krauthammer’s Take: It’s As If the U.N. Passed a Resolution Declaring Mecca Jewish Territory

Charles Krauthammer said that the recent U.N. resolution must have been influenced by the U.S. and has absurd language about Jerusalem, which would never be allowed regarding Muslim holy sites:

This is very serious damage, and it cannot be undone because you can’t change a Security Council resolution without the acquiescence of the Russians and Chinese and you are not going to get it. But the Ben Rhodes statement is so disingenuous. First of all, the idea that they didn’t have a hand in this — the resolution shows up and they decide to abstain — is ridiculous. Does anybody think that Venezuela and New Zealand spent nights slaving over the wording of this resolution? (They were the ones who introduced it). Of course not. This was a U.S. operation all the way. And the problem is, if Rhodes is right, this was only about the settlements deep in the West Bank, way beyond the separation barrier, you can understand the vote, perhaps. But it’s not.

Every Israeli, left to right, has agreed that when there’s a settlement, those settlements — in other words when there’s a peace — are going to be abandoned and torn down. Avigdor Lieberman, who is the right-wing minister of foreign affairs, lives in one of these settlements. He has said openly to journalists — I know it’s so because I was in the room — that he would (and he lives in one of the settlements), that he would gladly evacuate and tear it down in return for peace. So there’s no argument about that. But there are two other categories are settlements: The other are the close-end blocks near Israeli territory. Everybody agrees on all sides that in the event of a peace, they will go to Israel, and Israel will give back in a land swap some of its territory to make the Palestinians home. The pernicious part is the inclusion in the resolution of the term “east Jerusalem.” That was totally unnecessary, and it’s completely illogical. It turns the holiest site in Judaism — the temple mount, the western wall — into foreign territory. People say, “it’s the third holiest shrine in Islam.” It’s the first holiest shrine of Judaism. It’s as if the U.N. passed a resolution declaring Mecca and Medina to be sovereign Jewish or Christian territory. It’s absurd, it’s an insult to the intelligence of the world, and it is supremely damaging to the Israeli claim to its own holy places.

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