26.04.2024 Author: Viktor Mikhin

US isolationist policy at the UN

US isolationist policy at the UN

International outrage continues to grow after the United States unilaterally blocked a widely supported UN Security Council resolution that would have admitted the state of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations. The US was the only country to veto the resolution, while even its staunch allies Britain and Switzerland abstained and 12 of the 15 Security Council members voted in favour.

Condemnation of the U.S. at the UN Security Council

This duplicitous and unprincipled policy by the Biden administration provoked the anger and righteous indignation of the Palestinians, who came down hard on Washington for vetoing the resolution. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, reacted harshly, saying: “The fact that this resolution was not adopted will not break our will or nullify our determination”. After the shameful vote by the “democratic” US, he said: ‘We will not cease our efforts. A Palestinian state is inevitable. It is real. You may see it as something far away, but we see it as something close. The administration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also lashed out at Washington, calling its veto “unfair, unethical and unjustified”. He described the US move as “blatant aggression … that pushes the region further to the brink”.

Palestinian resistance groups have also expressed their outrage at Washington’s cynical and unprincipled policy. Hamas, whose militias are bravely fighting the Israeli occupation forces, angrily condemned the US for denying the Palestinians full UN membership. The statement called on the international community to “support the struggle of our Palestinian people and their legitimate right to determine their own destiny”.

It should be said that condemnation of the US for its policy of double standards has also been expressed in many countries around the world. This has been particularly evident in the states of the Global South, which, in condemning Washington, claim that all this is a clear continuation of the former Anglo-French colonialist policy. In the current context, the Biden administration, unable to find a more just course, continues the former policy of the European colonialists towards the Palestinians and their legitimate right to establish the state of Palestine.

The U.S. is totally isolated

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, directly and rightly accused the US of using its veto power to turn a blind eye to “Israeli crimes” against civilians in Gaza and the continuation of illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank. He added: “Today’s use of the veto by the US delegation is a futile attempt to stop the inevitable course of history. The results of the vote, in which Washington was almost completely isolated, speak for themselves”.

China’s ambassador to the UN, Fu Cong, said he was “very disappointed” by the US veto of Palestine’s bid for full UN membership. He also criticised Israel’s expansionist policy in the West Bank: “Over the past 13 years, the situation in Palestine has undergone many changes, the most fundamental of which has been the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The living space of Palestine as a country has been steadily shrinking and the basis of the two-state solution has been steadily eroded”.

The Chinese ambassador added: “The countries concerned have turned a blind eye, adopted a position of tolerance or even acquiescence, and now they are questioning Palestine’s ability to govern. This is a completely tyrannical logic that confuses right and wrong”. His comments were a reference to remarks clumsily made by US and Israeli envoys to the UN in an attempt to justify Washington’s veto of the UN Security Council resolution.

UN representatives and officials from many other countries also launched scathing attacks on the US for blocking efforts that could pave the way for Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations. Algeria’s UN Ambassador Amar Bendjama, whose country sponsored the resolution, called Palestine’s admission “a decisive step towards correcting a long-standing injustice”. He noted that “peace will come from the inclusion of Palestine, not its exclusion”.

The United States, Israel’s main political and military backer, did not hesitate to use its veto power to defend the occupation regime that is now decimating the defenceless Palestinian population of Gaza. Speaking at a Security Council meeting, US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood demagogically said that the veto “does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood, but rather recognition that it can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties”. Apparently, he was referring to a time when all Palestinians would either be annihilated or completely expelled from Palestine.

Incidentally, as we know, Israel itself was created on the basis of a UN resolution, not by negotiating with anyone. It was the well-known Resolution 181, adopted in 1947, which called for the division of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. In other words, the territory of Palestine was divided into two parts, one of which was given to the Jewish population, the majority of whom came from Europe after the Second World War.

Indeed, Robert Wood’s speech shed light on the duplicity and hypocrisy of the current US administration, which is encouraging the destruction of the civilian population of Gaza by providing huge financial and military aid only to Israel. On the one hand, the US demagogically expresses its commitment to the so-called two-state solution on the territory of Palestine, while on the other hand, and in reality, it blocks all efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state.

US and Israel oppose the creation of a Palestinian state

In this regard, the US argues in every forum that an independent Palestinian state can only be established through negotiations with Israel. And the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is tough and firm in saying that he will never allow the creation of an Arab state. Since Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed the so-called Oslo Accords in 1993, there has been no progress towards Palestinian statehood. Israel and the US, then and now, have prevented any negotiations on the establishment of an independent Arab state of Palestine.

Negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel in the 30 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords have produced no results for the Palestinians, who have suffered under Israeli occupation for many decades. In fact, the two-state solution has been a smokescreen for Israel to continue its policy of land grabbing in the occupied West Bank. Tel Aviv has been expanding its illegal settlements in the West Bank for decades to make way for Israeli settlers to occupy more Palestinian land. This has been particularly evident since the establishment of a far-right government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, which has given its settlers the green light to take Palestinians’ rightful land by force.

Since Israel launched its genocidal war in Gaza on 7 October, the US has supposedly, according to the US media, redoubled its efforts to move towards a two-state solution. But this is only in words, and in fact nothing has been done to curb in any way the Israeli policy of seizing the ancestral Palestinian territories and expelling the Palestinians from them. It is quite clear that Washington’s policy was only aimed at diverting attention from Israel’s genocidal war against the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza, which has claimed the lives of more than 34,000 Palestinians.

The UN Security Council vote made it abundantly clear that support for Palestinian statehood is growing around the world. Washington’s lone vote against the resolution also showed that it is becoming increasingly isolated in the world, a view made clear in comments by Russia’s representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya. Such a view has become dominant not only among the members of the Security Council, but also among the members of the UN, and yet, according to the Charter, the Palestine resolution was rejected because of the lone vote of the “democratic” US, which used its veto power against the majority of the UN and the members of the Security Council. Thus, to use a strong expression, the US has become a kind of pariah in the UNSC and sanctions should be imposed against it.

The blocking of a UN Security Council resolution that would have recognised a Palestinian state has brought further shame not only on the current administration of Joe Biden, but also on the entire international community, which has failed to take practical action to end decades of Israeli occupation, genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. How many more decades will the suffering, misery and agony of the Palestinian people continue because of the obstructionist policies of the US and Israel?

Meanwhile, Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday 21 April killed at least 22 civilians, 18 of them children, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing the enclave’s health ministry. The AP notes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the day before: ‘In the coming days, we will increase the political and military pressure on Hamas because that is the only way to bring back our hostages and achieve victory. We will hit Hamas with new and painful blows.

The latest strikes on Rafah came after the US House of Representatives approved a bill for $26.4 billion in additional aid to Israel, the agency notes. According to the British Gardian, official Tel Aviv is probably preparing for a ground operation in Rafah – moving in additional artillery, armoured personnel carriers …


Victor MIKHIN, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

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