Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent a letter on Monday to more than 50 world leaders urging them to stop a United Nations General Assembly vote against Israel, scheduled for mid-December.
The vote will determine whether the International Court of Justice in the Hague will be asked to issue an opinion on the “legal significance of the ongoing Israeli occupation” – referring to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces in Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
“This decision is the result of an orchestrated effort to discriminate against Israel, to call into question our legitimate security concerns and to deny the legitimacy of our very existence,” Lapid wrote.
Earlier this month, the U.N. General Assembly voted 98-17 in favor of the motion, which Nicaragua submitted at the Palestinian Authority’s request.
“It has long been accepted that the status of disputed territory will be subject to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. A one-sided change to such a policy will have detrimental effects on the entire region,” Lapid stated.
According to Lapid, who will turn over Israel’s leadership to Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu once he forms a majority coalition, isolating Israel for accusation by bringing her into the ICJ’s line of fire transgresses the principle of direct negotiations and would further polarize the sides, playing into the hands of extremists.
Furthermore, the language of the resolution adds another layer of disenfranchisement by referring to the Temple Mount – where King Solomon built the Temple to the God of Israel – by its Arabic name only, Haram al-Sharif, disassociating it from its biblical identity.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office dispatched Lapid’s letter to the heads of state of the United Kingdom, France, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Latvia, Georgia, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Vietnam and others.
In case Israel’s diplomatic efforts to prevent the vote fail, the prime minister wrote on social media that he expects Israel’s friends in the global community to vote against the decision.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.