The US announced on Thursday that it plans to vote “no” on an annual resolution at the UN condemning Israel's alleged “occupation” of the Golan Heights.
The annual resolution, entitled “The Occupied Syrian Golan”, is scheduled for a vote on Friday, November 16.
In the past, the US had abstained in the vote, but in a statement, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, explained why this year the American delegation would vote against the resolution.
“In previous years, the United States has abstained from voting on this resolution. However, given the resolution’s anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarization of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian crisis, this year the United States has decided to vote no on the resolution,” she said.
“The United States will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights. If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel,” continued Haley.
“Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone. The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement. The United States will vote no,” she concluded.
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, welcomed the American move to vote against the UN resolution that condemns Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights.
"The change in the American voting pattern is another testament to the strong cooperation between the two countries. I thank Ambassador Haley for her continued steadfastness with Israel and the truth. It is time for the world to distinguish between those who stabilize the region and those who sow terror,” he said in a statement.
Israel liberated the Golan Height from Syria in June of 1967, and the region was placed under Israeli law in 1981 by the government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
The world does not recognize the Israeli move and considers the Golan Heights “occupied territory”.
Haley’s announcement is another indication of the change in attitude towards Israel that she has led since becoming US ambassador to the UN.
Shortly after taking office, she urged the UN Security Council to devote less attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict and make Iran's "incredibly destructive" activities a priority in the Middle East.
Speaking at the AIPAC policy conference last year, the American ambassador said “there's a new sheriff in town” and vowed that “the days of Israel bashing [at the UN] are over”.