The UN General Assembly rejected a US proposal to condemn Hamas and accepted a Palestinian initiative to censure Israel for its actions defending its border with Gaza in recent months.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Wednesday rejected a US motion against Hamas, but affirmed a Palestinian-led initiative against Israel that condemned the Jewish state for the actions it took to prevent thousands of Gazans from overrunning its border fence.
The UNGA also criticized Israel’s counter-terror and policing actions against Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
The American amendment condemning Hamas was struck down, even though it had a slim majority, 62-58, and 42 abstentions.
UNGA President Miroslav Lajčák of Slovakia ruled that a two-thirds majority was needed for an amendment to be added to a draft resolution.
Haley appealed his decision, which led the session to be adjourned for several minutes. The appeal was rejected.
UN’s ‘Morally Bankrupt Judgment’
“Today the UN made the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault. It is no wonder that no one takes the UN seriously as a force for Middle East peace,” Haley said.
“But the common practice of turning a blind eye to the UN’s anti-Israel bias is changing. Today, a plurality of 62 countries voted in favor of the US-led effort to address Hamas’s responsibility for the disastrous conditions in Gaza. We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side,” she said.
Prior to the vote Haley said that her country’s amendment “reflects the minimum truth of what is going on in Gaza. It is the least that any self-respecting international organization or nation can do for the cause of peace.”
“To those who are unsure about how to vote, I ask, what part of our amendment is objectionable? Is it objectionable to condemn Hamas for firing the rockets at civilians?” Haley asked.
“Today’s choice for the General Assembly is simple. It is the choice between using our time here to advance peace and security, or using it to stoke hatred and conflict. This vote will tell us much about which countries are serious about accuracy and reconciliation and which countries are bound by their political agendas,” she said.
Applause for the Palestinians
The dramatic three-hour debate in New York ended on Wednesday evening with resounding applause for the Palestinians as a resolution that censured Israeli actions in Gaza passed by 120-8, with 45 abstentions.
The text made no mention of Hamas, a terrorist group which controls the Gaza Strip and which has a long history of violent attacks against Israel.
Israel removed all of its military and evacuated all Jewish communities from Gaza in 2005. Hamas wrested control over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup in 2007.
The six nations who joined Israel and the US in opposing the pro-Palestinian measure were Australia, Micronesia, Nauru, Togo, Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands.
EU countries that abstained were Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
EU countries who supported the Palestinians were Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Switzerland, New Zealand, Iceland and Norway supported the Palestinian call for international protection against Israel, while Canada abstained.
The One-sided Resolution
Wednesday’s resolution expressed “grave concern at the escalation of violence and tensions and the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,” since March 30. It also expressed “its deep alarm at the loss of civilian lives and the high number of casualties among Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, including casualties among children, caused by the Israeli forces.”
The text went on condemn “all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction.”
Referring to the so-called March of Return, the resolution reaffirms “the right to peaceful assembly and protest, and freedom of expression and of association.”
It goes on to deplore “the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip, including the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists, and expresses its grave concern at the loss of innocent lives.”
UN’s ‘Unequivocal Support for Terrorism’
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the General Assembly prior to Haley’s statement that if the UN approved the Palestinian resolution, “it will have signed in writing its unequivocal support for terrorism against Israel.”
“Let us not pretend,” Danon said. “If ISIS were to attack Stockholm tomorrow, ISIS would be held responsible for the attack. If al-Qaeda assaulted Paris, the UN would issue the strongest condemnation of al-Qaeda,” he added.
“Only when Hamas attacks Israel does the UN seek to blame Israel,” Danon said. “The moral majority in this chamber should not tolerate a different standard for Israeli victims of terror.”
“I have a simple message for those who support this resolution. You are the ammunition for Hamas’s guns. You are the warheads for Hamas’s missiles,” Danon said.
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