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January 1, 2017 / conservadox

Rabbis gone wild

I have seen a lot of furious hyperpartisan (expletive deleted) about the U.S.’s failure to veto a U.N. resolution condemning Israel for its settlement policy etc.

But a congregational rabbi in my hometown went a little further.  He said that the nations of the Security Council were challenging Israel’s right to the Western Wall.  Here’s the text of the resolution.  Is he right?

It mostly refers to “East Jerusalem” in a general way.  However,  it does say that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”  So if you read it literally, I think you could say that it endorses trapping Israel within its pre-1967 borders.

On the other hand, if you read about the political controversy surrounding this non-binding resolution, it seems to me that this isn’t really what the nations voting on it (at least not the more pro-Israel nations such as the UK) intended.  Most of the actual controversy seems to be about settlement construction- that is, creating Jewish neighborhoods all over the place on disputed land.  (I’m not really persuaded by the left-wing view that the settlements are the primary obstacle to peace, nor did I think the U.S. decision to veto this resolution was a good idea- but that’s another discussion entirely).  And since the resolution has zero legal force, I don’t think you can expect the level of precision that you would for a treaty.



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