The U.S. was the only country on Wednesday to reject a United Nations resolution that called for a humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza as Palestinians there face a crisis that has no end in sight.
Brazil drafted the text that called for a temporary ceasefire to allow the transport of humanitarian goods to Palestinians who have been bombed by Israeli forces for over a week. The resolution also condemned Hamas for carrying out its major attack on Israel that resulted in over 1,000 dead and more than 100 hostages.
One of the U.S.’s issues with the resolution was that it did not explicitly mention Israel’s right to self-defense.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, told reporters, according to Al Jazeera. “We are on the ground doing the hard work of diplomacy. We believe we need to let that diplomacy play out.”
Russia and the U.K. abstained from voting.
An Al Jazeera reporter said members of the Security Council were disappointed at the result after “days of negotiations and a humanitarian situation that was rapidly escalating.”
TRENDPOST: The UN, once again, makes for better theatrics than a place for any serious diplomacy. It should be noted that the U.S.’s insistence on Israel’s right to defend itself is a moot point since Article 51 of the UN Charter already states that any country has the “inherent right of individuals of collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs.”
The U.K., which will never vote against Israel at the UN, abstained from the vote—also citing Israel’s right to defend itself. London was also upset that the resolution did not condemn Hamas for turning the population of Gaza into human shields.
Jurist.org reported that Russia abstained from the vote because it wanted the resolution to call for the end of all hostilities between Israel and Gaza. Moscow also wanted an end to the blockade.
Brazil said it was focused only on the urgent humanitarian matter and its draft “further reflected the ethical necessity to provide civilians in Gaza with electricity, water, fuel, food and medical supplies. The necessity to be protected from forced relocation when the prevailing conditions on the ground do not ensure a safe and secure displacement.”
Twelve of the Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution. Any “no” vote from a permanent member automatically stops a measure in its tracks. The body’s permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.
Russia, once again, called out the U.S.’s hypocrisy vis-à-vis international law and said the veto was the latest example of how Washington is only focused on self-serving goals. (See “LAVROV CALLS OUT WEST’S HYPOCRISY, CITING ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION OF GOLAN HEIGHTS” 26 Sep 2023 and “LAVROV CALLS OUT BULLSHIT BLINKEN’S HYPOCRISY”7 Mar 2023.)
Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN, told Al Jazeera, “We have just been witnesses, once again of hypocrisy and the double standards of our American colleagues.”
Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, ambassador for the United Arab Emirates and the only Arab country on the Council, said, “It is perhaps beyond me to put into words the abject horrors we are witnessing in Gaza. Each passing hour of this ruinous war makes a mockery of the principles of international humanitarian law.”