A resolution introduced by outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemning Hamas garnered an unprecedented level of support — it was supported by 87 countries — in the General Assembly, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
However, due to a last-minute maneuver, the threshold for passage was changed to two-thirds of the votes rather than a simple majority, and the measure was not adopted. Haley blasted the maneuver, noting that the procedure lacked “fairness” given that every other resolution in the agenda only required a simple majority.
In the end, the resolution was supported by 87 nations and opposed by 57, with 33 abstaining. Singapore, Japan, and Brazil, countries which had generally not supported Israel at the UN in the past, surprisingly backed the American initiative. Angola, which abstained, and Chad, which did not vote, in the past may have been expected to support the Palestinians at the UN. India, which historically on resolutions dealing with the Palestine issue has been unambiguous in its condemnation of Israeli policy, also abstained.
Though the resolution fell short of the arbitrarily decided margin for adoption, it does mark progress. In June, an attempt to pass an amendment condemning Hamas achieved a plurality of just 62 to 58. It was the first time any measure condemning Hamas achieved a majority.
“Ladies and gentlemen, last Friday the General Assembly approved six resolutions condemning Israel in a single day. Six. In an average year, the UN votes against Israel 20 times. Over the years, the UN has voted to condemn Israel over 500 times,” Haley said in a speech advocating for the resolution, noting that the UN “has never once passed a resolution condemning Hamas.”
Toward the end of her speech, Haley appealed directly to the Arab world, asking “Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you’ll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri celebrated the vote, writing on Twitter, “The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the US administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance.” The term “resistance,” when used by anti-Israel terrorist groups, is a euphemism for terrorism.
Even though the Palestinian Authority is involved in a struggle for control of Gaza with Hamas, PA President Mahmoud Abbas also hailed the failure of the General Assembly to adopt the resolution. “The presidency thanked all the states that voted against the American draft resolution, affirming that it will not allow for the condemnation of the Palestinian national struggle,” a statement attributed to Abbas read.
In the wake of the vote, Israeli officials looked at its positive implications.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation to the nations who supported the resolution, “I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas. This is a very important achievement for the US and Israel. I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN
@nikkihaley for the initiative.”
The Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon tweeted, “For the first time at the UN, a record 87 countries condemned Hamas for its rocket fire & use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes against Israel. I thank @nikkihaley for her hard work in forming an unprecedented coalition. We will continue to fight for the truth!”
[Photo: U.S. Mission to the United Nations / Facebook ]