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America's Shameful Stance at the U.N.

Following a bloody day of protest at the border wall separating Israel and the Gaza strip, in which 60 Palestinians were killed, most by live fire, by Israeli Defense Forces, nearly every permanent and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council made forceful statements condemning the Israeli use of lethal force. In contrast, Nikki Haley the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., defended Israeli actions and blamed all of the violence on “Hamas terrorists” which she said, "backed by Iran have incited attacks against Israeli security forces and infrastructure.” She claimed that “The common thread in all of this is the [destabilizing] conduct of the Iranian regime, a regime that insists on promoting violence throughout the Middle East, while depriving its own people of basic human rights.”

Virtually every member of the Security Council, except the United States, acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself and its borders, but questioned whether shooting unarmed civilians, including women and children, was a “proportional” response. Most of the countries, including staunch American allies such as the U.K. and France, called for an investigation into Israel’s actions, but on Monday, the U.S. blocked a Security Council draft resolution calling for just such an investigation. Most of the other members of the Security Council discussed the inhumane conditions under which Gazans live and have lived for years and the negative effects of Israeli occupation (while some claim that Gaza is self-ruling and not “occupied,” it is walled in, entrance and exit are by Israeli checkpoints, and the economy and standard of living are controlled by Israeli sanctions, while neither Gaza nor the West Bank are treated as part of an independent country). Everyone but the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution, which necessitates recognition of Palestine as an independent country as well as Israel’s right to exist alongside of it.

In addition to claiming that the blame for the deaths in Gaza fell upon Hamas and not Israel, Ambassador Haley also said that “ some suggest [the violence] was connected with yesterday's opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.” Her answer was that moving the embassy to Jerusalem "does not undermine the prospects for peace in any way.” A number of member states pointed out that U.N. Security Council Resolutions 476 and 478, both passed 14-0 in 1980 (with the U.S. abstaining on both), prohibited Israel from altering the neutral and shared character of Jerusalem, condemned Israel for declaring all of Jerusalem as its capital, and forbid member states from locating their embassies in Jerusalem. Speakers from member states implied or stated that the U.S., by moving its embassy to Jerusalem, was flouting international law and adding fuel to the protests.

Violence of the nature seen in Gaza on Monday is rarely solely the responsibility of one party, but firing live ammunition at unarmed protesters, whose most extreme weapons, which observers said that most protesters did not have, were rocks and occasional burning bottles of gasoline floated by kites in the direction of the Israel border, but who mostly were simply trying to reach or sometimes breach the border wall, so that dozens were killed, including children, and hundreds wounded, cannot be sanctioned. In fact, no one in the Security Council but the U.S. did sanction it. In its effort to show solidarity with Israel, which, under Benjamin Netanyahu has shown disdain for Palestinian rights, has expanded Israeli settlements in occupied territories that could become part of an independent state of Palestine, and has sided with the U.S. in blaming almost all Middle Eastern unrest on Iran, the U.S. has backed every Israeli move and acted unilaterally in moving its embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Even if those are strategic moves in some sort of chess game against Iran, on Monday, Israel clearly violated all civilized standards of conduct by indiscriminate killing of civilians. Every other country in the U.N. Security Council recognized this and condemned Israel’s action. It is a shameful day for America when our own government sanctions such actions instead of condemning them and when it spent the day that so many lives were lost celebrating an event in Jerusalem that the rest of the world has declared illegal.

Reader Comments (3)

I agree with you, Casey. The alliance between the worst of Israel's governments and the U.S.'s worst leader shames both nations.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnca Vlasopolos

It's right up there with Madeline Albright's excusal of the US murder of 500,000 children in Iraq (via sanctions) the illegal war searching for WMD's.....Can you imagine how long the list would be of just the most recent, even just the last 20 years...of US illegal war campaigns and actions. I remember in the Cold War mu teachers expounding that the USA is a peace loving nation....they never said we just want a big piece of everything.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDariel Garner

Israel has the right to protect its border wall. It has the right to protect its sovereignty. I’m not sure why anybody would want to challenge the Israelis ancient or 20th century claim to their land? Some of the Palestinians killed were operating somewhere between civilian and soldier......”violent demonstrators” might best describe them and they were treated similarly as to how US police treat any suspect who threatens or endangers them. The United States is right to ally with Israel and support their strong response. The Hebrews/Jews have learned some very tough lessons historically. It seems unlikely that Israel will ever allow its people to be unnecessarily victimized ever again.

May 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark Wheeler

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