At an emergency meeting held on June 13th, the United Nation General Assembly adopted another one-sided resolution against Israel. The resolution, proposed by Turkey and Algeria, deplored the use of allegedly excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, which the resolution pretends is still “occupied” by Israel. The anti-Israel resolution demanded that Israel refrain from such actions and fully abide by its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. It also requested the UN Secretary General to submit a report in no later than 60 days, outlining proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety of Palestinian civilians, including on an international protection mechanism. The General Assembly resolution is virtually identical to Kuwait’s draft UN Security Council resolution that was vetoed by the United States on June 1st.
The General Assembly resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 120 in favor to 8 against with 45 abstentions, ignored Hamas’s acts of terrorism and provocations, including using children as human shields and its attempts to invade Israel during the protests at the Israeli-Gaza border in recent weeks demanding a so-called “right of return.” It ignored the fact that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, which it uses as a base for its attacks against Israeli civilians, and that there have been no Israeli soldiers “occupying” Gaza since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005. The closest that the resolution came to acknowledge what Israeli civilians have had to put up with for years was deploring in general terms the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli civilian areas.
Prior to the voting, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, Riyadh Mansour, characterized the U.S. initiative as a “bad-faith attempt to insert an amendment that would radically unbalance the text and shift the Assembly’s focus away from the core objective of protecting civilians and upholding international law.” The Palestinians’ hypocrisy knows no bounds. Mansour has the audacity to lecture the General Assembly about “protecting civilians and upholding international law,” while his cohorts preach hate and violence. The Palestinian Ambassador to Iraq Ahmed’Aql, for example, declared in an interview last month (as reported by MEMRI) that whoever “attacks Israel with missiles” will continue to win the support of the Palestinian people. Jews are “not a people,” he added. As also reported by MEMRI, “Hamas political bureau member Saleh Bardawil said that, of the 62 people killed in clashes along the Gaza border on May 14, fifty were movement members. Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that calling the campaign ‘peaceful resistance’ was to ‘deceive the public’”.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley minced no words in her condemnation of the resolution before the vote:
“This resolution holds Hamas completely unaccountable for most of the recent unrest. It blames everything on Israel. But the facts tell a different story. It is Hamas and its allies that have fired over a hundred rockets into Israel in the past month, hoping to cause death to as many civilians and as much destruction as possible. It is Hamas that has used Palestinian civilians as human shields at the boundary fence, seeking to incite violence and overrun the border. It is Hamas that refuses to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority to unite in the pursuit of peace. It is Hamas that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel within any borders. And yet the resolution before us not only fails to blame Hamas for these actions, it fails to even mention Hamas.”
The United States offered an amendment that would have provided some balance. It received a plurality in favor, but the amendment was then blocked by Algeria when it used a procedural maneuver to claim that a two thirds majority was needed. The amendment would have condemned Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and inciting violence along the boundary fence between Gaza and Israel. It also would have demanded that Hamas cease all violent activity and expressed grave concern over the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing by actors in Gaza.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, declaring that his country had the right to defend itself and asking other member states how they would react if 40,000 rioters attempted to flood their borders, condemned the supporters of the anti-Israel resolution. “By supporting this resolution, you are colluding with a terrorist organization and empowering Hamas,” Ambassador Danon said, adding that “you are the ammunition in Hamas’ gun; you are the warheads on Hamas’ missiles.” He referred to the “anti-Israel elements” who “deceitfully blocked the condemnation of Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization,” characterizing the result as “a badge of shame for the UN.”
After the General Assembly’s adoption of the anti-Israel resolution and rejection of the U.S-sponsored amendment, Ambassador Haley blasted the UN’s “morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault.” Nevertheless, she said there was some reason for hope that “the common practice of turning a blind eye to the UN’s anti-Israel bias is changing,” noting that “a plurality of 62 countries voted in favor of the U.S.-led effort to address Hamas’s responsibility for the disastrous conditions in Gaza.”
The United Nations is institutionally biased against Israel. It has consistently and repeatedly turned a blind eye to aggression against Israel, accepting hook, line, and sinker the Palestinian victimhood narrative. Between the Organization of Islamic Cooperation-dominated UN Human Rights Council, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (“UNRWA”), more UN resources and time have been devoted to the advocacy of the Palestinian cause than to any other single issue. Terrorist organizations actively use UNRWA offices and schools to conduct their nefarious activities. Every November 29th, the United Nations publicly mourns the passage of its own original partition resolution that had recommended the peaceful creation of two separate Jewish and Arab states, spurned by all of the Arab countries back in 1947.
To her great credit, Ambassador Haley has made some strides in trying to whittle away at the UN’s anti-Israel bias. However, there is a long way to go before the UN can gain any legitimacy on anything to do with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.