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A decision devoid of legitimacy

Dec 09,2017 - Last updated at Dec 09,2017

President Donald Trump's provocative speech last Wednesday had two ominous dimensions: One which recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the second signalled the eventual relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv, where it had resided in peace for decades, to Jerusalem where it could face untold dangers and challenges. 

For starters what Trump decides or does not decide on the status of Jerusalem does not change one iota the international status of Jerusalem. It is not up to the US or any other power for that matter to bestow on Israel the honour of having Jerusalem as its capital. UN resolutions as far back as 1947 granted the holy city an international regime status. Nothing done by Washington or any other capital for that matter can unilaterally change that status. 

There are several relevant UN General Assembly and UN Security Council resolutions that shed light on the status of Jerusalem. To begin with, General Assembly Resolution 181 dated November 29, 1947, recognised Jerusalem's "corpus separatum" and its international status. This was followed by Resolution 303 also adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1949 which emphasised the international regime for Jerusalem. On July 4, 1967, the UN General Assembly adopted yet another resolution No. 2253 condemning Israel's measures aiming to change the status of Jerusalem. All these decisions were supported by the US. 

On the UN Security Council level, what stands out is Resolution 298 adopted on September 25, 1971, which also deplored Israel's measures purporting to change the status of the holy city. Then there was resolution 242   adopted  in 1967  by the Security Council in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which called on Israel to withdraw from all the  territories occupied in the 1967 war.

This is not to mention other UN Security Council resolutions that declared any action by Israel that purports to change the status of Jerusalem including its "annexation" of East Jerusalem null and void. Most of these resolutions were adopted with the consent of the US, either tacit or specific. 

For now to attempt to change the status of Jerusalem by any power, big or small, is not only wrong and illegal but also without the blessing of the UN and its organs. Trump should have consulted with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and/or the UN General Assembly and/or the UN Security Council on whether its purported attempt to change the status of Jerusalem from an occupied city into the capital of Israel is lawful. 

The second dimension of Trump's infamous speech appears on the face of it benign as it suggests the postponement of the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem. The actual relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem entails the construction of a new building which is safe, secure and large enough. 

Of course, Trump needs to wait few years before moving his country's diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Relatively speaking, this side of the Trump equation does not appear as critical as its first side. The critical part is, of course, the recognition of Jerusalem by the US as the capital of Israel in defiance of international norms and international public opinion including that of the Vatican. 

What the Palestinians joined by the Arab and Muslim capitals and perhaps other likeminded nations as the EU should do is to immediately go to the UN Security Council and/the UN General Assembly for a resolution rejecting the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

 

Calling on the ICJ to render an advisory opinion on the issue would be also helpful. At the end of the day, no matter what Trump decides or does not decide on the future of Jerusalem, it would remain devoid of legitimacy, pure and simple.

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Comments

The problem with Trump is that he is not a states man, he is a business man whose interest is collecting money, with no background in international law, he has no ethics and without principles. He will lead America to catastroph

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY DEVOID OF LEGITIMACY????. WHO CALLS THE SHOT?. NEVER MIND THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE. THE SMOKE IS THE ARAB LEADERS THAT SPEAK IN TOUNGUES LIKE WHAT HAPPENED ON THE PENTICOST DAY.!!
THE FIRE IS THE UNFORTUNATE LOCUS OF HAVING YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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