by: Kate Norman
Friday, 7 December 2018 | What was going to be US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s last stand—before her resignation goes into effect in a few weeks—was defeated Thursday, falling just nine votes short of a two-thirds majority.
“The resolution condemns Hamas rocket attacks on innocent civilians,” Haley told the UN General Assembly before the vote. “It demands that Hamas and other militant groups end all violent attacks, including the use of flaming kites. And it also reaffirms the UN’s support for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
The resolution, called “Activities of Hamas and Other Militant Groups in Gaza,” would have been the first to condemn the Palestinian terror organization.
Despite falling short of the required two-thirds majority requirement, the resolution did receive a majority vote with 87 for, 57 against, 33 abstained and 16 not voting.
Before the official vote, Bolivia called for a two-thirds majority requirement for the anti-Hamas resolution to be passed.
Haley called on the nations to reject the motion.
“Last Friday—just last Friday—there was no decision that resolutions under this same agenda item had to be adopted by a two-thirds vote,” Haley asserted. “You didn’t do it then. Similarly, there should be no decision that a two-thirds majority applies now. There should be no double standards in this chamber.”
Despite her plea, the UN General Assembly voted to approve the request 75 to 72—a veritable death sentence for the US-sponsored resolution.
Haley gave another statement to the international body before the vote on the resolution, calling on them to act on human decency and fairness, not prejudices.
“Today could be a day in which the UN General Assembly unconditionally speaks out with moral clarity against one of the most obvious and grotesque cases of terrorism in the world. Or it could be a day in which it refuses to do that.
“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.
“That’s what an ordinary day at the UN looks like,” Haley said.
The US ambassador condemned the prejudice of refusing to denounce terrorism only when it affects Israel.
“Because there is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying terrorism is not terrorism when it’s used against the Jewish people and the Jewish State,” the ambassador stated.
“There is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we would not hesitate for one minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country.”
The ambassador went on to describe the tactics of the terrorist organization over the years: bombing buses and public places in the 1990s and early 2000s, killing hundreds and injuring thousands of civilians; firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel over the past five years; and launching incendiary devices into Israeli land.
Then Haley switched tactics and called on the officials to consider the Palestinian civilians living under Hamas’s rule. She described the terrible conditions in the Gaza Strip: electricity for only a few hours a day; access to safe drinking water for only 10% of the residents; a rate of over 50% unemployment and torture and arrests for Hamas’s political opponents, “all while Hamas spends its resources—including UN resources—on rockets and terror tunnels.”
She pleaded for the assembly to look past the identities of those involved and focus on the people being hurt.
“I want to take a personal moment and ask my Arab brothers and sisters: is the hatred that strong?” she asked. “Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you’ll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people? Isn’t it time to let that go?”
After the resolution failed, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, praised the majority who voted in favor of the resolution and condemned those who voted against or abstained.
“Today we achieved a plurality. That plurality would have been a majority if the vote had not been hijacked by a political move of procedure,” Danon said, referring to the decision to call for a two-thirds majority.
“But in one strong, courageous voice, we have brought Hamas to justice. For those member states that rejected this resolution, you should be ashamed of yourselves,” the Israeli ambassador said.
Despite the defeat, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the majority results.
“While it did not achieve a two-thirds majority, this is the first time that a majority of countries have voted against Hamas and I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
The Israeli prime minister pointed out the symbolic victory.
“This is a very important achievement for the US and Israel. I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative,” Netanyahu tweeted.
Posted on December 7, 2018
Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 7, 2018)
Photo Credit: Patrick Gruban/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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