UNGABrussels, December 21st, 2017 – The European Coalition for Israel has reached out to the Member States of the United Nations General Assembly ahead of the vote on the draft resolution on the Status of Jerusalem which was approved on Thursday morning in New York by 128 votes, 35 abstentions, 21 no-shows and 9 against.

In the letter ECI points out that “Israel is the best guardian of an open and inclusive Jerusalem which respects the faiths of all its citizens and guarantees free access to their holy sites”. The letter further states that “it is an indisputable fact that, unlike other guardians of the city from the Romans to the Crusaders to the State of Jordan between 1949 and 1967, freedom of religion has only been preserved under Israeli sovereignty. Jerusalem remains one of the few places in the Middle East where Jews, Christians and Muslims, are able to pray in freedom, security and peace”.
In the letter ECI called on all Member States to “refrain from adopting any resolution which would interfere with or jeopardize this unique status for a city, which is rightfully called holy by three world religions, while calling on the Israelis and Palestinians to unconditionally return to the negotiating table”.

The draft resolution on the Status of Jerusalem which was tabled to the UN General Assembly by Jordan, calls upon all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem pursuant to Resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council.

In a separate statement before the vote, ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker said that “the draft resolution tabled by Jordan adopts the position that Israel has no legitimate claim over any part of Jerusalem. It is unreasonable for Jordan now, given its conduct between 1947 and 1967, to be allowed to put back on the table a position that it chose in 1947 to reject by seeking to annihilate the Jewish state”.

In a statement after the UNGA vote, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell said:
“What was planned as a united front against the US and Israel instead revealed a clear division in the UN General Assembly. A total of 65 nations voted against, abstained or did not show up for the vote, in a clear reprimand against the Turkish sponsored resolution. Contrary to the vote in the Security Council on Monday, today’s vote shows that Israel is not isolated in the international community. It is these 65 nations which did not support today’s biased resolution that make up the moral minority in the United Nations General Assembly where close to half of the member states fail to meet the most basic criteria for parliamentary democracies.“

The ECI letter was signed by Director of UN Affairs, Gregory Lafitte, Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker and Founding Director Tomas Sandell.