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B’nai B’rith International denounces the United Nations Security Council resolution considered on Feb. 18 condemning Israeli settlement construction. Fourteen nations voted in favor of the measure. The United States was the sole vote against. The U.S. veto defeats the measure.

The Palestinian Authority, with the sponsorship of Arab countries, proposed the myopic resolution, which appears to be a pretext to avoid the direct negotiations with Israel necessary to create a two-state solution.

The resolution assigns Israel with blame for a deadlock in the peace process by subjecting Israeli policies alone to scrutiny and censure. Certainly, Jerusalem, Israel’s sovereign and historic capital, cannot be considered off-limits to Jewish or other citizens of Israel.  Attempts to avoid negotiations by employing the United Nations to endorse Palestinians’ posture in negotiations can only provide false hope that political terms can be imposed on Israel by the international community.

In the midst of the chaos currently enveloping the Middle East, to inject this issue now is a misguided impediment to the peace process.

“This biased resolution has no place in the peace process,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “The Palestinian Authority needs to fulfill its obligation to engage in direct, bilateral peace talks as the only way to reach an agreement with Israel.”

B’nai B’rith strongly commends the United States for blocking this resolution through its veto. Without outside interference and delay tactics, peace can and must move forward between Israel and the Palestinians. Another approach would only frustrate a successful negotiation process and common hope in achieving lasting peace.

“The United States has taken the right step in rejecting this harmful resolution,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “It is time for both parties to return to the table without preconditions to enable progress in the Middle East.”