NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC applauded the Obama Administration for exercising its veto at the United Nations Security Council against a resolution sponsored by the Palestinians and the Arab states which declared Jewish settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem to be "illegal."
"Exercising the veto is a painful decision, particularly for an Administration with a deep and sincere commitment to multilateralism," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "That is why we salute President Obama and his team for their courage in vetoing this mischievous resolution, which would have caused irreparable damage to the future prospects of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These were talks which the President himself inaugurated, in the hope that by September of this year, a Palestinian state would be living peacefully alongside a safe and secure State of Israel."
The other four permanent members of the Security Council, as well as the ten non-permanent members, voted in favor of the resolution.
"It is especially disappointing that the two European permanent members of the Security Council, Britain and France, chose to actively back this resolution," Harris said. "Along with Germany and Portugal, which also supported it, the Europeans, who always seek a place at the table in Israeli-Palestinian talks, have essentially sent a message to the region that Palestinian refusal to negotiate directly and in good faith will be rewarded. Thankfully, the United States has made it crystal clear that there is no alternative to direct talks."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee