Diplomacy

UN General Assembly Plurality Supports U.S.-Sponsored Amendment Condemning Hamas

For the first time, a plurality of United Nations General Assembly members supported an amendment to a resolution that condemned Hamas by a vote of 62 to 58, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday. The United States-sponsored condemnation was an amendment to a resolution that condemned Israel for the deaths of 120 Gazans in nearly three months of Hamas-led violent riots. Hamas was not mentioned at all in the main resolution.

The resolution condemning Israel, introduced by Algeria, passed overwhelmingly by 120 to 8 with 45 abstentions. The only nations voting against were the United States, Israel, Australia, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Togo, and the Marshall Islands.

After the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley blasted the General Assembly for approving a resolution condemning the violence in Gaza but leaving out any mention of the terrorist group Hamas, which exercises complete political and military control over the Gaza Strip.

Haley noted that despite more severe humanitarian crises in Nicaragua, Iran, Yemen, and Burma, the General Assembly chose to focus on Gaza because, “What makes Gaza different for some is that attacking Israel is their favorite political sport. That’s why we’re here today.”

The ambassador then elaborated, “The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of Hamas, who routinely initiates violence in Gaza. Such one-sided resolutions at the UN do nothing to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Everyone recognizes that. But advancing peace is not the goal of this resolution.”

Despite the overwhelming vote for the main resolution against Israel, Raphael Ahren, the diplomatic correspondent for The Times of Israel, speculated that the vote for the anti-Hamas amendment potentially bodes well for Israel in the future.

While passage of the resolution condemning Israel passed overwhelmingly, Ahren speculated that the vote for the amendment “underlined that Israel’s enemies don’t automatically win every single vote in the international body, and showed that more countries wanted to temper the anti-Israel resolution they were about to support with a condemnation of Hamas than not.”

This view was echoed by Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, who said, “Thanks to the combined efforts with our American friends and our allies from around the world, we proved today that the automatic majority against Israel in the UN is not destiny and can be changed.”

Haley similarly observed, “common practice of turning a blind eye to the UN’s anti-Israel bias is changing.” She elaborated that with “more countries voting on the right side than the wrong side,” it showed that “those countries recognized that peace will only be achieved when realities are recognized, including Israel’s legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas’ terrorism.”

[Photo: US Mission to the UN / Twitter ]