Israel dismisses EU resolution on Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer and Martin Bright, December 10, 2009

Israel’s top diplomats were dismissive of an EU resolution calling for Jerusalem to be the “future capital” of both Israel and the Palestinian state.

While Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon described the resolution as “just words”, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the Swedish government, which proposed the original resolution, of attention-grabbing.

“So far their presidency of the EU has been unremarkable,” he said on Army Radio, “and they simply wanted to do something that will make people notice they had the presidency before their term is over.”

Mr Lieberman noted that the resolution finally voted in by EU foreign ministers on Tuesday had “no resemblance to the Swedish proposal”, which originally stated that east Jerusalem should be capital of Palestine. The resolution was watered down following intense diplomatic manoeuvring by Israeli diplomats who received the support of a number of EU members, most notably Italy, in changing the resolution.

The resolution did say that the EU does not recognise Israel’s annexation of the parts of Jerusalem captured during the Six-Day War but this is a reiteration of the EU’s long-standing position.

Britain voted in favour of the resolution.

The Foreign Office said the British position remains unchanged.
An FCO spokesman said: “We strongly and consistently support the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security, based on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, and a fair settlement for refugees.”

Last updated: 4:06pm, December 10 2009