WATCH: Netanyahu briefs cabinet members with Jerusalem’s initial plan to deal with UN Security Council vote, tells ministers to “behave with discernment, responsibility, and also with composure.”
By Nitzan Keidar
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened this morning’s (Sunday) weekly government meeting with the decision of the UN Security Council regarding the communities of Judea and Samaria.
“I join in the government member’s feelings of anger and frustration at the decision which is imbalanced and hostile to Israel that was improperly taken by the Security Council,” opened Netanyahu.
English follows opening address in Hebrew
(Open English subtitles for Hebrew opening.)
“This obviously stands in open contradiction to traditional American policy that pledged never to try to force conditions for a permanent framework or anything connected to this through the Security Council, and clearly also contradicts an explicit commitment of President Obama in 2011 to refrain from taking such steps,” said Netanyahu.
“We will do everything necessary that Israel not be damaged by this shameful decision,” added Netanyahu, and warned minsters not to initiate independent steps: “I say to the ministers here, we must behave with discernment, responsibility – also with composure. That means also in word, also in deed.I request that ministers behave responsibly and in accordance with the guidelines that will be set down in today’s cabinet meeting immediately after the general government meeting.
“I also asked the Foreign Ministry to prepare a plan for working with the UN and other international bodies that will be presented to the cabinet within a month, and until then we will weigh additional steps,” Netanyahu added.
Minister Tzachi HaNegbi said before the government meeting, “Had we been dealing with a decision that ultimately had the support of an active administration behind it, with the ability to turn a declarative decision into practical steps against Israel, it would be very problematic. Fortunately the administration that undersigned this miserable decision is exiting the stage and another administration is entering, which has stressed in no uncertain terms that it distances itself from the decision and that it’s policy will be different.
“Israel in any case rejects all UN interference in her affairs. We will make known explicitly that we do not accept the provocative, irrational declarations – and in the end I believe that the new administration will erase this stain which seems to hover over the Obama administration, but has actually passed from history, and is as if it never was,” added HaNegbi.
HaNegbi rejected the possibility of unilaterally applying sovereignty over Judea and Samaria: “I think it would be a grave mistake to take unilateral steps, which we ourselves condemn. We are against such methods, we say that our hand is outstretched to come to agreement with our neighbors, and we repudiate Palestinian refusal to negotiate, as we are prepared to speak with the other side. Any step that unilaterally establishes facts on the ground with regard to Judea and Samaria’s status is wrong and I am sure that the government of Israel will not adopt it.”
Minister Ayalet Shaked said before the government meeting: “In 1949, when the UN passed a resolution internationalizing Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion took advantage of the opportunity and established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We must see this as an opportunity. This decision can be leveraged in a sense. Israel must decide which way she’s going – towards establishment of a Palestinian state or not – and to make it clear to the world.
“The Obama administration abandoned Israel twice. Once with her signature with Iran and the second time with this decision,” added Shaked.
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