You can read all of the Security Council resolutions concerning Jerusalem by browsing to the United Nations website at www.UN.org. Just follow the links for U.N. bodies, and select "Security Council" and then "Resolutions." Or, to go directly to the resolutions regarding Israel and Palestine, a direct link valid as of this writing is found at the URL
Has the world forgotten about the 1947 resolution calling for internationalization of Jerusalem under a governor appointed by the U.N.? Most people may have forgotten, but the leaders of the world's nations remember. In fact, toward the end of the year 2000 the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 57/111 on Jerusalem, in which it specifically references "resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in particular its provisions regarding the City of Jerusalem," and states, "the international community, through the United Nations, has a legitimate interest in the question of the City of Jerusalem" and that "any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever." (See our chapter "Nations United and Resolved" for more on this particular U.N. resolution.)
It is these resolutions that the world community seems to be moving in the direction of enforcing. As noted in the first chapter of this book, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said, "the West has been guilty of double standards -- on the one hand saying the UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq must be implemented, on the other hand, sometimes appearing rather quixotic over the implementation of resolutions about Israel and Palestine." (From the article titled, "Foreign Ministry slams British PM's linkage of Iraq, Intifada," by Douglas Davis, March 26, 2003)
Despite such resolutions, and the possibility of enforcement by military means, it is still hard to imagine blue-helmeted United Nations peacekeeping forces assembling in the region outside Israel and then marching into the country by force. In half a dozen wars Israel was able to push back the combined armies of all its Arab neighbors. In the 1967 war the
Arab armies managed to push ahead twenty miles inside Israel, but then Israel stopped them and pushed them back. Would U.N. forces meet with greater success than the Arabs? Even from a purely secular and strategic standpoint, without giving thought to divine intervention, the task would give pause to any general or military commander.
Moreover, today it is generally known or widely believed that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, although the Jews have never publicly declared themselves a nuclear power. With atomic weapons on both sides, the United States and the Soviet Union faced off for decades without either side daring to stage an all-out attack. A would-be attacker of Israel would face a similar deterrent.
So, how could a situation reasonably arise that would actually bring the forces of the United Nations into conflict with Israel over Jerusalem?
We will have to wait to see what happens, of course. But, dramatic changes and reversals have occurred before in global politics, and suicidal military ventures are not unknown in human history.
Yet, it is more common for military powers to back themselves into a corner, where they find themselves forced to act. For example, it would not be difficult to conceive of United Nations peacekeeping forces being invited into Jerusalem in relatively small numbers as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. They could be welcomed by both sides in under certain conditions, perhaps as unarmed monitors to report on compliance with agreements, or as lightly armed border guards to secure agreed-upon boundaries. Then, once they were in place, it would not be difficult to imagine the situation deteriorating some time later, and the government of Israel taking a position contrary to what the United Nations felt obligated to enforce. A confrontation between Israeli troops and reinforced U.N. forces could escalate unexpectedly.
Actually, United Nations forces in have already been invited into the area; not into Jerusalem, but into the border area of southern Lebanon. Israel welcomed them after its withdrawal in the year 2000 from Lebanese land that had been occupied as an Israeli "security zone" for more than two decades. In