Remarks by Ambassador David Pressman, U. S . Alternate Representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs, at a Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East, October 29, 2014
The deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem, at a time when so many are eager for signs of progress towards peace, is deeply troubling.
It’s hard to imagine sites more sensitive than those in Jerusalem and, today, we are very concerned by recent tensions surrounding the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historical status quo on the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif – in word and in practice.
That’s why Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent statements expressing his commitment to maintain the status quo there and not to make any changes at the site are so important. We welcome the Prime Minister’s comments.
The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at the holy site is critical. Any decisions or actions to change it would be both provocative and dangerous. We urge the leaders of all three parties to exercise decisive leadership and work cooperatively together to lower tensions and discourage violence, alleviate restrictions on Muslim worshipers, and reinvigorate long-standing coordination mechanisms and relationships that have served over the decades to preserve the historic status quo as it pertains to religious observance and access to the site. These arrangements are essential for maintaining calm at this important and holy site.
What I placed in bold is pure unadulterated undemocratic, anti-human rights and a perversion of the freedoms of religion that America criticizes in other countries around the world.
The status quo is not "historic" and in practice denies Jews our historic rights.
And then this followed,
The United States urged that the compound be reopened to Muslim worshippers, and called on all sides to exercise restraint amid spiralling tensions in Jerusalem.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also condemned the shooting of hardline rabbi Yehuda Glick, an Israeli-US dual national.
Was just sent this:
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY
October 30, 2014
Situation in Jerusalem
I strongly condemn yesterday’s shooting of a U.S. citizen outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. The State Department is in touch with authorities as we seek more information.
I am extremely concerned by escalating tensions across Jerusalem and particularly surrounding the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount – in word and in practice. The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at this holy site is critical; any decisions or actions to change it would be both provocative and dangerous. The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount must be re-opened to Muslim worshipers and I support the long-standing practices regarding non-Muslim visitors to the site, consistent with respect for the status quo arrangements governing religious observance there.
I am in close touch with senior Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian leaders to try to deescalate the situation. I urge the leaders of all three parties to exercise decisive leadership and work cooperatively together to lower tensions and discourage violence, alleviate restrictions on Muslim worshipers, and reinvigorate long-standing coordination mechanisms and relationships that have served over the decades to preserve the historic status quo as it pertains to religious observance and access to the site.
Jen PsakiSpokespersonDaily Press Briefing, Washington, DCOctober 30, 2014 TRANSCRIPT:
...QUESTION: Thanks. Let’s start in the Middle East. The situation in and around Jerusalem is tense, to say the least, and getting intenser or more tense. I’m wondering if you have anything to say about that, as well as about the shooting of an American citizen last --
MS. PSAKI: ...let me say we condemn yesterday’s shooting of a U.S. citizen in Jerusalem. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We’re in touch with authorities as we seek more information.
We’re extremely concerned by escalating tensions across Jerusalem and particularly surrounding the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the status quo in – on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in word and in practice. It must be reopened to Muslim worshippers. The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at this holy site is critical. Any decisions or actions to change it would be both provocative and dangerous.
And finally, we’ve been in close touch, as I’ve mentioned or alluded to, with senior Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian officials to try to de-escalate the situation. I expect the Secretary will be speaking with Prime Minister Netanyahu over the next 24 hours as well.
...QUESTION: All right. And then you said – any change to which situation would be provocative and dangerous? I’m sorry.
MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, we support the longstanding practices regarding non-Muslim visitors to the site, to Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. And consistent with our respect for the status quo, we would like to see it returned to that.
QUESTION: You would like to see a return to what it was yesterday, before the shooting happened?
MS. PSAKI: Yes. Yes.
...QUESTION: Should – what is --
MS. PSAKI: The status --
QUESTION: -- the U.S. position on non-Muslim worshippers who might want to go to --
MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s consistently been the case that we believe that Muslim worshippers should be able to worship, that there’s been a consistent position of the United States.
QUESTION: Right. But you condemn the shooting of an American citizen who had advocated for non-Muslim worshippers to be able to go. But you don’t support that --
MS. PSAKI: Our position has not changed. It doesn’t mean we don’t condemn, of course, the shooting --
QUESTION: No, I understand that.
MS. PSAKI: -- and the death of an American citizen.
QUESTION: I get that. But he advocated something that you don’t necessarily support. That’s – or he advocated -
MS. PSAKI: Our position hasn’t changed on this issue. That’s true.
...QUESTION: Jen --
QUESTION: Secretary Kerry – is this still on Israel?
QUESTION: In your opening when you talked about – you said it must be reopened to Muslim worshippers, you’ve seen the Palestinian spokesman or – spokesman for the Palestinian president say that the closure of it was a declaration of war. What do you make of that?
MS. PSAKI: We wouldn’t characterize it in that way or echo that.
QUESTION: Well, is that the kind of language that you’re looking for?
MS. PSAKI: We didn’t characterize it that way, so I don’t think it’s --
QUESTION: Well, okay, fair enough. The Israelis have been accusing President Abbas of inciting this kind of behavior. Do you believe that that is the case?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we certainly have been encouraging the leaders of all parties to exercise not only decisive leadership, but to work cooperatively together and lower tensions, and obviously, lowering tensions means lowering rhetoric and also taking actions that reflect that.
...QUESTION: Jen, you said you’re extremely concerned with the situation in Jerusalem. In terms of the security operation that you’ve seen so far, are you concerned with that or are you so far satisfied; you just don’t want an escalation?
MS. PSAKI: Do you mean by the Israeli authorities?
MS. PSAKI: I wasn’t speaking to that. I was speaking to the tensions that obviously we’re all aware are happening on the ground right now.
QUESTION: Right, but so far, you haven’t seen anything that you’ve found to be disturbing --
MS. PSAKI: I don't know if there’s – if you want to be more specific, what – might be more helpful.
But now see when she refers to another staus quo:
QUESTION: Well, can I ask about Sweden?
QUESTION: Wait – oh, okay.
QUESTION: Yeah. Israel recalled the ambassador in Sweden in protest of the recognition of a Palestinian state. Now, I mean, are you concerned that this is not a one-off? There’s a lot of talk in Europe about other countries accepting a de facto Palestinian state. And so I’m just wondering when you talk about – kind of concerned about the future, it doesn’t seem like Israel will just continue to be able to call ambassadors around the world. I mean, do you think this is the right way to be dealing with this instead of addressing the issue?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we certainly believe that the status quo is not sustainable and have long believed that. And obviously, no one wants to see a situation where there’s a cycle after cycle of violence and tensions and that the Israeli people are concerned about their safety and security, the Palestinian people have concerns. That’s why we support a peace process and a resolution.
As it relates to Sweden – and let me just reiterate this just so we can get it out there – as you know, we support Palestinian statehood, but it is – it can only come through direct negotiations between the parties that resolve final status issues and end the conflict. Certainly, it doesn’t require our view. It requires the facts out there of what we’ve seen from some countries responding to the lack of a resolution of a peace process out there, and I think that speaks for itself.
And on the previous two Jewish terror victims now:
...QUESTION: I just want to know if there’s any update on the investigations into the two cases of American citizens being killed.
MS. PSAKI: No, there are no updates that I have.
QUESTION: All right. And have you – it’s been some time now. It’s been a week --
MS. PSAKI: It’s been a couple of days, yes.
QUESTION: It’s been about a week.
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
...QUESTION: Are you not at all concerned that the investigations are --
MS. PSAKI: We continue to press for a speedy resolution of the investigations.
QUESTION: But would you call this speedy, though?
MS. PSAKI: Elise, it’s been a week. We discuss this in every – almost every conversation we have, but there hasn’t been a resolution yet.
QUESTION: Right, but – right, but there was a resolution to the – a very speedy resolution, apparently, to the – what happened last night.
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: That investigation appears to be closed now with the death of the alleged assailant. Is that --
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more details on the status of the investigation. So –