President Obama’s refusal to veto this one-sided resolution was a deliberate ploy to tie the hands of his successors, the consequence of which was to make it far more difficult for his successors to encourage the Palestinians to accept Israel’s offer to negotiate with no preconditions. No future president can undo this pernicious agreement, since a veto not cast can never be retroactively cast. And a resolution once enacted cannot be rescinded unless there is a majority vote against it, with no veto by any of its permanent members, which include Russia and China, who would be sure to veto any attempt to undo this resolution.
President Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital helps to restore the appropriate balance. It demonstrates that the United States does not accept the Judenrein effects of this bigoted resolution on historic Jewish areas of Jerusalem, which were forbidden to Jews. The prior refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was based explicitly on the notion that nothing should be done to change the status quo of that city, holy to three religions. But the Security Council Resolution did exactly that: It changed the status quo by declaring Israel’s de facto presence on these Jewish holy sites to be a “flagrant violation under international law” that “the UN will not recognize.”