Malcolm Hoenlein
Malcolm HoenleinYoni Kempinski

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday commended the U.S. for vetoing what they described as “yet another ill-conceived and counterproductive resolution on Jerusalem” which sought to overrule President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of the Conference of Presidents, said, “We deeply appreciate the principled action by the Trump administration in casting a U.S. veto today which prevented the Security Council from adopting a resolution challenging American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.”

“The U.S. acted as a sovereign state in choosing where to locate its embassy. Unlike the outrageous stream of biased and condemnatory anti-Israel resolutions regularly adopted in the General Assembly, UNESCO, the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies, the U.S. decision on Jerusalem did not prejudge or seek to foreclose any outcome agreed to in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” they added.

“The proposed resolution was yet another ill-conceived attempt by the Palestinians to enlist the UN in their ongoing efforts to evade negotiations. It is time for the international community to stop abetting Palestinian attempts to use the UN to circumvent negotiations. The Palestinians should present their grievances at the negotiating table,” said Greenberg and Hoenlein.

The American Jewish Congress also welcomed the U.S. veto, saying the UN Security Resolution was “deeply divisive and one-sided”.

“The U.S. administration has repeatedly stressed that its acknowledgement of Jerusalem’s rightful position at the heart of the Jewish State in no way prejudices final status negotiations. We are disappointed by this latest unilateral appeal to the UN Security Council, in this case by Egypt,” it said.

“All sovereign nations have the right to self-rule and calls on the U.S. administration to ‘rescind’ its Jerusalem decision, in an effort to rewrite the history of the Middle East, are unjust and prejudicial. By breaking with the status quo and attempting to isolate the US, opponents of this decision risk torpedoing the peace process in which the U.S. must continue to play a vital role.”

“The American Jewish Congress remains encouraged by this administration’s return to the longstanding American policy of vetoing unilateral resolutions against Israel at international institutions. The American Jewish Congress looks to the U.S. to continue to lead the way among the international community in engaging in decisive words and actions to facilitate constructive dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians in the hopes of reinvigorating the dormant peace process.”

The resolution which Washington vetoed had called on “all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem" in order to prevent the fulfillment of President Trump's pledge to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The text also demanded that all states "comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”

14 members of the Security Council supported the resolution, with only the United States in opposition.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised Haley for vetoing the resolution.

"Thank you, Ambassador Haley," Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter account. "On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness [as they did]. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley."

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, slammed the veto, with a spokesperson for chairman Mahmoud Abbas saying it was "unacceptable" and adding that it "threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it."