December 6, 2018 marks the day the United Nations General Assembly (“UNGA”) infamously sold its soul to the devil - after failing to agree on whether a resolution condemning Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza required a two-thirds or simple majority vote.
December 6, 2018 commemorated the first anniversary of President Trump’s announcement of America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and America’s intended relocation of its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
December 6, 2018 also celebrated the fourth day of the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah marking the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C. following the Jewish uprising against its Greek-Syrian oppressors.
America had submitted draft Resolution A/73/L.42 (“L. 42”) to the UNGA on 29 November 2018:
- Condemning Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk;
- Demanding that Hamas and other militant actors, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices;
- Condemning the use of resources by Hamas in Gaza to construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population;
The UN’s Press Release sums up what occurred when L. 42 came to a vote on 6 December:
“The representative of Kuwait, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said the situation in the Middle East is directly linked to international peace and security. He condemned Israeli policies that violate international humanitarian law and the Charter of the United Nations and requested a vote to apply the two-thirds majority rule for the adoption of draft “L.42”.
The representative of the United States said a simple majority is required for adoption of the resolution. She called for fairness in the United Nations and said action on the draft was about “doing what is right”. “The General Assembly has never uttered a word in any resolution about Hamas,” she said. The decision to adopt the text by a two-thirds majority is based on a desire to have the resolution fail. She urged all States to vote against the motion.
The Assembly voted to apply the two-thirds majority requirement by a very narrow simple majority margin of 75 in favour, 72 against, with 26 abstentions.
Those favouring a two-thirds majority vote included 44 out of 56 Islamic States - whilst one (Albania) voted against, 5 abstained and 6 did not vote.
Non-Islamic States supporting the Islamic States-bloc included:
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Japan, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
All 21 member States of the European Union supported America’s simple majority stance.
Australia, Bosnia, Canada, Colombia, Estonia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, Slovakia, Ukraine and Uruguay.
Armenia, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland amazingly abstained.
L 42 was then passed by 87 votes for, 57 against and 33 abstentions – 9 short of the 96 votes required.
106 UN members had weaponized Hamas, abandoned the civilian population of a fellow member state – Israel, and set a procedural precedent that the Islamic bloc will exploit again.
Hamas remains free to engage in heinous conduct found worthy of UN condemnation by a majority of UN member States.
The foundational basis of the UN Charter - maintaining international peace and security (Clause 1.1) - has been flagrantly circumvented because the UNGA failed to agree on how to run its own meetings.
The UNGA has become a complete joke and totally irrelevant. It has sold its soul to the devil.
Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog