The Significance of the US Israel Failure at the UN General Assembly

Howard TerryDec 08, 2018

The U.N. General Assembly voted on Thursday against a resolution sponsored by USA ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas group as a terrorist organization.

The resolution, which was backed strongly by Israel, needed a two-thirds majority to pass on Thursday following an earlier vote in the assembly.

The vote ultimately failed to cross the higher threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against.

"The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the USA administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance", Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri tweeted, referring to militant groups that oppose Israel.

Sami Abu Zahri, a spokesman for Hamas, the militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, wrote on Twitter after the vote: "The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the U.S. administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance".

The vote was symbolically important because, from the time Haley arrived at the January 2017, she has made a point of trying to turn the tide of what the Trump administration considers overwhelmingly anti-Israel resolutions and this vote illustrated what an uphill battle that turned out to be.

Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the USA resolution would "undermine the two-state solution which we aspire to".

The US-Israel failure at the worldwide forum was a demonstration of all of the Palestinian factions standing together in defense of the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine to resist the Israeli colonial occupation of their land.

This resolution was the first condemning Hamas that the 193-nation assembly had considered.

"The resolution itself was just transparently Israeli talking points - it didn't mention the military occupation, the siege of Gaza, Israel's daily attacks against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank".

In an official statement, Hamas thanked United Nations member states "that stood by our people's resistance and the justice of their cause" and attacked Haley who it said "is known for her extremism and her positions that support the Zionist terrorism in Palestine".

Israel and Hamas have gone to war three times. "Israel has no respect for this organization of which it is a member".

Ahead of the vote, protests against the draft resolution took place in several parts of Gaza. She added, "A settlement of the conflict must meet Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, and resolve all final status issues".

Despite Riyadh's close ties to Washington, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi urged member states to reject the U.S. measure. He said it would also turn attention away from Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian territories.

A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution.

Danny Danon, the Israeli envoy to the United Nations, scolded the states that rejected the resolution. "The wise policy of the (PLO), which has fought and is still fighting to realize the hopes and aspirations of our people for freedom and independence, will remain the guardian of the national project", PLO President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement.

Top Photo | United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrives for a security council at United Nations headquarters, November 26, 2018. Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon told the assembly the vote had been hijacked by the procedural maneuver.

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