Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, thanked the U.S., Australia, Rwanda and Nigeria for helping to defeat a Palestinian statehood resolution in the U.N. Security Council:
I would like to voice appreciation and thanks to the United States and Australia, and also special appreciation for the president of Rwanda, my friend Paul Kagame, and the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. I spoke with both of them. They told me and promised me, personally, that they would not support this resolution. They kept their word, and that’s what clinched this matter. I think this is very important for the state of Israel.
The United Nations Security Council Tuesday rejected a Palestinian resolution demanding Israel withdraw from disputed territories within three years. The motion fell one short of the minimum nine “yes” votes in the Security Council. It received eight “yes” votes, two “no” votes and five abstentions:
- No: The United States and Australia
- Yes: Russia, China, France, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg.
- Abstain: The United Kingdom, Lithuania Nigeria, South Korea and Rwanda.
Voice of America Wrong on American Veto
Voice of American incorrectly reports in the lead of its article on the failed Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations:
The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Palestinian statehood that demanded Israel withdraw from the occupied territories.
Likewise, the VOA headline incorrectly states that the U.S. vetoed the Palestinian resolution.
In fact, given that the resolution fell one short vote of the nine votes required to pass, the United States, which had voted against the draft, did not have to exercise its veto right. The American vote against a resolution is not a veto so long as the draft falls short of the nine countries in favor. As reported correctly by The New York Times:
So Mr. Kerry worked to line up enough abstentions from American allies like South Korea and Rwanda so that the United States would not have to wield its veto.
Abbas Faces More Fiascos
According to Debka, even had Abbas mustered the mandatory 9 votes, the resolution “would still have been vetoed by the US. Its re-submission next year in the hope of a more pro-Palestinian Security Council lineup will be just as problematic. So will Abbas’ threat to bring Israel before the international court for alleged war crimes. For Prime Minister Netanyahu, the vote was a campaign coup against his rivals’ charge that he leads Israel into diplomatic isolation.”
Nevertheless, Abbas continues to pin the Palestinian Authority’s hopes on the United Nations instead of engaging in serious negotiations with Israel. A day after the Palestinian bid for a mandatory Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines failed at the UN Security Council, Mahmoud Abbas signed a Palestinian request to join the International Criminal Court. He plans to bring Israeli officials before the court for alleged war crimes. Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says “That step will be blocked too. If anyone needs to fear facing the international court, it is the Palestinians.”
B’nai B’rith International says Abbas’ machinations have made patently clear its unpreparedness to make the hard decisions necessary to finally achieve peace and coexistence.
Abbas’ path of confrontation and unilateralism gravely violates his responsibility to end the conflict through meaningful direct negotiations and compromise with Israel. His path also denies Israel basic guarantees of its security and recognition as a Jewish state.
In order to preserve the essential principle of conflict resolution through negotiation, and the fundamental right and duty of responsible states to combat terrorism, Palestinian exporting of political grievances to The Hague must be firmly rejected internationally. Otherwise, Middle Eastern tensions will only worsen, and Palestinians’ own atrocities, in stark contrast with the singular restraint of the region’s only pluralistic democracy, will surely come into sharper focus.