UNITED NATIONS (Jun. 30)
The United States abstained today as the Security Council adopted 14-0 a resolution declaring that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have as legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
The resolution, which concluded a highly acrimonious debate on Jerusalem, also declared that all measures “which altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and status” of Jerusalem, “are full and void and must be rescinded in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
Earlier today Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, declared that “Jerusalem has always been, as it is today, the capital of the Jewish people. And it has been the capital of the State of Israel since the restoration of our national Independence more than three decades ago.” He spoke during the Council’s debate on Jerusalem, which opened here last Tuesday at the request of Pakistan, representing the members of the Islamic Conference.
“Jerusalem has always been a united city, except for the period between 1948 and 1967, when it was temporarily and artificially divided, “Blum said. “While persecution and insecurity reduced the number of its Jewish residents pedantically, Jews throughout the world have always clung to Jerusalem and have longed to return to it. Since modern population statistics first become available in the early nineteenth century, those statistics have consistently shown the existence of an uninterrupted Jewish majority among the city’s residents.”
Blum said: “There is no substance to the allegation that Israel is in the process of altering the existing situation in Jerusalem. It is erroneous to suggest that the government of Israel proposes to alter the status of Jerusalem, which is the capital of Israel.” He added that Israel “is deeply mindful of the spiritual treasures and universal interests” in Jerusalem and the rights of members of all faiths are guaranteed by Israeli law which provides “unrestricted access to all holy places” in Jerusalem to all members of any religion. Blum warned that “this debate might be exploited to play upon religious sentiments and to fan the flames of incitement both religious and political.” He said all must agree that this “is highly undesirable.”