NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder said Friday that he was "dismayed" by the United Nations Security Council decision to adopt a resolution against Israeli settlements, and called the United States' decision to abstain rather than veto the text "disconcerting and unfortunate."
“This is a dismaying decision by the Security Council which does nothing to enhance the role of the United Nations in resolving the Middle East conflict, and once again singles out Israel for condemnation," Lauder declared. "It is shocking that 14 of the 15 members of this council voted in favor of the resolution."
“It is also disconcerting and unfortunate that the United States, Israel’s greatest ally, chose to abstain rather than veto this counterproductive text. It has long been US policy that peace in the Middle East must be negotiated directly between the parties, not imposed by any outside international or other body. This is in keeping with UN resolutions that mandate direct negotiations.
The WJC president added: “A peace agreement cannot be imposed from the outside, but reached only through bilateral talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Israel has shown time and time again that it is willing to enter into talks with a view of ending this conflict, but the Palestinians, instead of coming to the negotiating table, have imposed numerous preconditions, including on the settlement question. It is lamentable that the United Nations, instead of playing the role of honest broker, is taking sides, thus making a peace deal more unlikely,” said Lauder.