Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Haley Scolds UN on Anti-Semitism as Body Fails to Condemn Hamas

Scott Morrison Scott Morrison
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2018, 22:05

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

US Ambassador Nikki Haley, whose defense of Israel has been a signature calling during her almost two-year run, had lobbied hard for European countries and others to join with Washington in condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and for "inciting violence", putting civilians at risk.

A resolution that would have condemned the militant group Hamas and its attacks on Israel failed to pass the United Nations on Thursday, despite an aggressive campaign by the United States and Israel to cast it as a vote on peace and terrorism.

Last June, 62 countries voted for a US-backed amendment condemning Hamas, 58 opposed it and 42 abstained.

But before the vote on the USA draft resolution, Bolivian Ambassador Sasha Llorentty Soliz withdrew the amendment.

Before the voting, US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley said that despite more than 500 General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel, not one condemning Hamas has ever been adopted.

"The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously", wrote Haley, who repeatedly has said the administration will "take names" of any countries voting against USA foreign policy.

The two rival resolutions reflect the deep divisions among the 193 United Nations member states over the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the failure to end it. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

"She would like to go out with something", said a Security Council diplomat of the USA -drafted resolution.

Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, reflecting the Arab view, said the USA resolution would "undermine the two-state solution which we aspire to". "Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you'll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?" The people who have suffered by far the most because of Hamas are the Palestinian people.

The overwhelming support for the Irish resolution reflects global support for action "without delay" toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a two-state solution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party has been locked in a power struggle with Hamas, welcomed the resolution's defeat saying, "The Palestinian presidency will not allow for the condemnation of the national Palestinian struggle".

By contrast, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the "large majority" - 87 countries - "that took a stance against Hamas" for the first time, calling it "an important achievement for the United States and Israel".

The resolution also encouraged "tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including support of the mediation efforts of Egypt, and concrete steps to reunite the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority and ensure its effective functioning in the Gaza Strip".

"The UN has a chance to condemn Hamas for the first time", Haley tweeted Thursday.

The United States and Israel voted against the resolution in addition to Australia, Liberia, Marshall Islands, and Nauru.