Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Free at last: A UN without US diplomatic blackmail

The voting results are displayed on a screen during the emergency special session over Jerusalem held by UN General Assembly in New York, US on 21 December 2017 [ Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

Not for the first time, the free world has stood up for truth and justice in Palestine. The General Assembly’s vote against President Trump’s decision on Jerusalem was a victory for the rule of law over the law of the jungle. It now leaves both the US and Israel isolated, disgraced and humiliated.

Washington’s threat to cut aid to countries that voted not to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was an insult to the UN and a vicious assault on the sovereign rights of its members. In their customary delusional manner, Israelis believed the US threat was enough to force compliance. They were mistaken; people around the world are simply tired of their arrogance and unethical conduct.

As it stands, Trump’s threat is consistent with a long-standing policy of US blackmail and intimidation exerted within the UN to further Israel’s illegal claims. It was no different from the threats issued to impoverished nations to extract the controversial UN Partition Resolution 181 in 1947.

Read: Trump is a bully, the UN must stand up to him

When that vote was taken, it narrowly gained the two-thirds majority to be adopted – 33 countries voted in favour, 13 opposed and ten abstained. Haiti, Liberia and the Philippines all opposed the partition plan initially but were forced to change their position following the intervention of officials “at the highest levels in Washington”, including President Harry Truman. They were threatened with the withdrawal of US financial aid. James Forrestal, the then Secretary of Defence admitted that “the methods that had been used…to bring coercion and duress on other nations in the General Assembly bordered closely onto scandal.”

By allowing itself to be used in such a scandalous manner to facilitate the claims of one people, the UN had done immense damage to its credibility. It had, in fact, violated one of the most fundamental principles of its Charter namely, “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” (Article 1).

There were, apart from Forrestal, other US officials who were prepared to acknowledge the wrong done to the Palestinian people. Commander E.H. Hutchison, who chaired the Jordan-Israel Armistice Commission after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, recalled that “every step in the establishment of a Zionist state” was “a challenge to justice”.

While there are parallels between what happened in the General Assembly in 1947 and 2017, there are, nonetheless, striking differences. Both presidents, Trump and Truman, sought to exploit an international crisis to bolster their domestic standings. However, what the incumbent president does not realise is that the free world has moved on from the days of diplomatic blackmail. So, whereas two-thirds were coerced to vote for partition in 1947, 70 years on two-thirds exercised their free will and voted for peace and the rule of law.

People attend a demonstration against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, at the Times Square in New York City, United States on December 09, 2017 [Mohammed Elshamy / Anadolu Agency]

People attend a demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, at the Times Square in New York City, US on 9 December 2017 [Mohammed Elshamy / Anadolu Agency]

Where does this crushing defeat leave Israel and its mercurial Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu? For sure, Israel will become more isolated among the community of nations. Instead of countries moving their embassies to Jerusalem many will now consider severing or curtailing diplomatic contact with the Zionist state. South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has taken the lead by adopting a resolution at its national conference to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office

Read: We are all to blame for Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

As for Netanyahu, the UN defeat will, almost certainly, increase calls for his resignation. He is, in political terms, damaged goods, even to the point of being toxic. Only the delusional would want to be associated with him.

Instead of disparaging the UN as “the house of lies”, the Israeli prime minister and his fellow travellers should be eternally grateful to the world body for voting to partition Palestine. Gratitude, regrettably, has never been in their lexicon.

In years gone by, Israel was aided and encouraged by a combination of blind American support; indifference on the part of western powers; and the complicity of “leading” Arab countries. If nothing else, yesterday’s vote at the UN on Jerusalem must mark the beginning of the end of that long chapter of subterfuge.

Read: What does Trump’s Jerusalem decision actually mean?

Political disasters can sometimes be turned into opportunities. This scandalous attempt by the Trump administration to trample roughshod over the UN, in defiance of international norms and standards, must be seized as an opportunity to review Israel’s membership of the world body. After all, it was admitted to the world body on condition that it respects the terms of partition and allows the Palestinian refugees to return (Resolution 273). Israel has not only refused to honour the terms of its membership; it has systematically undermined the UN Charter and brought the world body into disrepute. Surely, the UN would be a much better organisation without member states like this.

As for the Arab leaders who were misled into believing that Donald Trump can realise their grand ambitions, they too must think again.

Categories
ArticleAsia & AmericasCommentary & AnalysisInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUNUS
  • Fasdunkle

    “respect for the principle of equal rights”

    Something the author utterly rejects

    • peepsqueek

      Or at least a balanced scale!

  • britbob

    A number of countries are annoyed, including the UN because they believe that Israel is wrong to occupy its post 1967 territory. Some believe that Israel has breached international law. The situation is not straightforward. To gain an understanding of the relevant international law and some UN attitudes Google: ”Falklands – Implanted Population’ Academia” (1 pg)

    • DEADP00L

      Israel doesn’t fall under Falklands category because it nullified its status as a European colony after 1967 in order to gain US support; thus it doesn’t have those protections. It signed the UN accords for its status and ironically, its recognition as a state is its weakest foundation. It if had declared itself as member of say the UK, ironically, it wouldn’t be in the state its in. But that would actually mean surrendering to the British and thus maintaining Palestine as it was.

      One way or another, Israel’s entire fate is determined by the very people its tries desperately to exterminate. Without Palestine, there is no Israel.

      • peepsqueek

        How to you continue to claim Israel is trying to exterminate a people when the populations of Palestinian Arabs continue to grow since 1967, and 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs living in Israel proper as citizens? The Palestinian Arabs have a high longevity in Israel than Americans living in America. So you claim of genocide is purely political and not factual. There are more Arabs living in Israel proper than all the Jews put together in Islamic Countries. Please think before you post.

        • DEADP00L

          Thats the same rhetorical Nazis used when they were talking about the Ghettos. Tech the ghetto populations were growing too and that was the problem, hence extermination camps.

          Palestinians being ethnically cleansed is extermination.

          • peepsqueek

            It was Hitler’s superior race doctrine by centuries of the Church dogma that Jews were the Christ Killers that made it possible to exterminate their own citizens. He claimed that Jews were an inferior semitic race that did not belong in Europe. He could have ethnically cleansed them by taking them to the border instead of to extermination camps, but he wanted their businesses, their bank accounts, and even the gold from their teeth to finance his war to conquer Europe. Since Israel became an independent State, Palestinian Arabs have quadrupled their numbers, which is not the definition of genocide or extermination.

          • ricck lineheart

            There were no ” extermination camps ” no proof exists to keep up this lie ..

          • DEADP00L

            Thats also what the Nazis said.

          • peepsqueek

            The German Government has released 50 million documents on the fate of 17 million people who were in Nazi concentration camps and forced labor camps. The devastated German government was willing to pay reparations to the survivors. Former Nazi Officers who confessed and even some apologized for their role in the holocaust. Do you have any contradictory evidence?

            Last year in DETMOLD, Germany, a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard on trial in Germany apologized in a courtroom to victims, telling them he regretted being part of a “criminal organization” that had killed so many people and caused such suffering.

            “I’m ashamed that I knowingly let injustice happen and did nothing to oppose it”, said Reinhold Hanning, a former Nazi SS officer, seated in a wheelchair in the court in Detmold.

            Hanning is charged with being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people.

            In this 22-page long declaration, Hanning admitted having known about mass murder in the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. “I’ve tried to repress this period for my whole life. Auschwitz was a nightmare, I wish I had never been there”

          • peepsqueek

            You really need to do the math. And Palestine Arabs have been given choices after losing several wars against the Jewish State- they could accept the terms of surrender, they could leave, or they could sign a peace agreement. The Jews under Nazi occupation were give no choices.

            And don’t compare Gaza with a Nazi concentration camp. —

            Egypt banned Hamas and branded it a terrorist organization.

            Jordan banned Hamas in 1999. In 2013, Jordan rejected requests to allow Hamas to return.

            Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah disagree and are fighting with each other in Syria (Sunni/Shiite conflict).

            Syrian President says- Hamas is an uninvited guest

            The relationship between Hamas and Saudi Arabia is currently in a stalemate

            Can you name one Arab Country that supports Hamas and their methods? Please be specific!

  • DEADP00L

    The United States membership on the UNSC should be put under review and it’s standing in the UN downgraded after this. Also any states it’s threatened should immediately restrict US military activity and begin freezing US assets in their countries. Since apparently Trump is stupid enough to actually think its the US that calls the shots and not the UN when it comes to the global stage.

    All these countries have tolerated the United States, most to their own detriment and the detriment of their own people to the tune of trillions.

    The United States should be penalized at least for four major offenses and breach of the Charter: for its conduct in clearly exhibiting historical favoritism towards a party that violated 72 UN resolutions, violates international law, rejecting the commitment to be impartial and abusing its power to veto… now adding openly declaring it will violate UN resolutions and refusing to adhere to the rule of law.

    In other words, the United States falls under the category of a failed state like North Korea. Subject to sanctions and economic restrictions. Its military can be forced to vacate its bases, closure of all diplomatic consulates aside from the most relevant and its economy tanks.

    Trump’s behavior has ushered in a world united against the US. There has never been a lower moment for the country.

    • charliematerne

      Was Abbas, Erdogan et. al. not making threats against all members if the vote failed to meet their demands? Nations don’t fear the loss of a little funding, they fear having their citizens run over, stabbed and blown up on trains and in concerts. Or even better: “A senior Palestinian Authority official has suggested that the West ignores the Palestinians when they maintain security, rhetorically asking if they have to resort to “hijacking planes” and “destroying airports” to garner Western support for the Palestinian cause.
      In an interview translated by MEMRI on the PA-backed station Awdha TV last week, Nabil Sha’ath asserted that being moderate does not turn heads.
      Those are the threats they pay attention to.

      • Spirit

        Erdogan and Abbas spoke assertively for the rights of Palestinians. Big difference.

        • charliematerne

          Are threats of international terrorism and murder now accepted as Speaking Assertively even though they violate the UN Charter?

          • Spirit

            Violence is the unfortunate product of the world’s tolerance of decade after decade of Israeli occupation.

          • charliematerne

            The violence is the result of the Arab/Muslims refuse to accept that on this planet religious law does not override man made law, No man made law says that Israel can not occupy the lands within its own borders.

          • Helen4Yemen

            What prevents Khazars from going home?

            European genetic groups (ancestry dot com)

            14 Iberian
            15 Great Britain
            16 Italy/Greece
            17 Ireland
            18 Europe East
            19 Europe West
            20 Scandinavia
            21 Finland/Northwest Russia
            22 European Jewish

          • Spirit

            No man made law says Israel can ethnically cleanse the land on which it decided to establish itself.

          • charliematerne

            It has established itself on its own land

          • Spirit

            That land was not empty. The people who lived there have rights too. The problem is that Zionists don’t see human beings when they look at Palestinians in the same way that Hitler did not see human beings when he looked at Jews. Israel should know better but alas!

          • charliematerne

            In today’s news “Hamas Official: ‘Trump Gave Jerusalem to Descendants of Pigs and Apes’” Maybe you should reevaluate your comment: “The problem is that Zionists don’t see human beings when they look at Palestinians in the same way that Hitler did not see human beings when he looked at Jews”

          • Helen4Yemen

            The Khazars can always go home!

            What is “European-Jewish”?
            Is that not code for Khazar?
            If not, please tell me what “European-Jewish) #22 is?

            European genetic groups (ancestry dot com)

            14 Iberian
            15 Great Britain
            16 Italy/Greece
            17 Ireland
            18 Europe East
            19 Europe West
            20 Scandinavia
            21 Finland/Northwest Russia
            22 European Jewish

          • Spirit

            Israel has been violating that charter for decades as it carries out ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.

          • charliematerne

            Which parts of the Charter? Where is your proof of “ethnic cleansing”? Accusations are easy to make, especially when repeating the lies of others. Proving them is more difficult.

      • Helen4Yemen

        Those who voted in favor of Khazars
        moving the Khazar embassy to Jerusalem

        1) Guatemala
        2) Honduras
        3) Marshall Islands
        4) Micronesia
        5) Nauru
        6) Palau
        7) Togo

  • charliematerne

    That’s outrageously funny, mentioning the “rule of law” and “sovereignty” and especially ” fundamental principles of its Charter namely, “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” (Article 1). while denying those principals and more (such as Article 2 Paragraph 7). The vote writes the beginning of the obituary of the UN

    • Helen4Yemen

      What is “European-Jewish”?
      Is that not code for Khazar?
      If not, please tell me what “European-Jewish) #22 is

      European genetic groups (ancestry dot com)

      14 Iberian
      15 Great Britain
      16 Italy/Greece
      17 Ireland
      18 Europe East
      19 Europe West
      20 Scandinavia
      21 Finland/Northwest Russia
      22 European Jewish

  • ricck lineheart

    Nikki Haley stated , ” We will take names . ” This was her reference to those that voted against the desires of Israel and the U.S. .And now being overwhelmed by such numbers as she was not expecting rest assured she and other Zionist like minded are in a football huddle today . Israel has no recognized borders , constantly guilty of most criminal activities included in the U.N. Charter FINALLY the U.N. takes a stand against a U.S. established dictatorship !

    • peepsqueek

      Do you recall any UN votes on the other 28 ongoing conflicts and border wars in the world involving Muslim leaders and Muslim regimes?

      Do you recall any UN votes on Middle East dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, and where they put their Capitals?

      The Palestinian Authority and Hamas wants to define “Palestine” as an Arab and Muslim State. They have applied to the United Nations for Statehood, and to be a 23rd Arab Country. They want Jerusalem to be a 23rd Arab Capital. They claim that Jerusalem is a holy City of Islam, and want to fly the banner of Islam over it. This is quite hypocritical of a Government that believes a Jewish State has no right to exist in the Middle East.

      How do you balance those scales by throwing Israel under the bus?

      • Spirit

        Israelis were presented with a two-state solution years ago but they have worked harder than anybody to undermine it.

        • Fasdunkle

          Israel accepted the 2 state solution with Jerusalem (and Bethlehem) as a corpus separatum administered by the UN.

          • Helen4Yemen

            Ashkenazi = 99% European, why not erect his state back home in Poland or Lithuania? Is Palestine the Khazar’s ancestral land?

          • Spirit

            Which explains why it has rushed to embrace Trump’s recent Jerusalem announcement?

          • Fasdunkle

            The Corpus Separatum ended the moment the arab armies rolled in.

        • Helen4Yemen

          What are “Israelis”? How are they different from the French in Algeria and the British in Kenya. The white man commonly known as “Ashkenazi” said that he was hated in Europe and needed a new homeland? Do all hated groups get a new homeland at someone else’s land?

          • Spirit

            The difference is that unlike Kenyans and Algerians, Israelis have the US and the UK dusting their bottoms with talcum and tickling their tummies.

          • Carroll Price

            The difference is that Jews are in full control the US’s money supply due to their ownership of the Federal Reserve Banking system, a branch of the European based Rothschild Banking carte. Amschel Rothschild once stated; “Give me control of a nation’s money supply and I care not who makes it’s laws.”

  • Helen4Yemen

    1) UN overwhelmingly condemns US decision to recognize Jerusalem Los Angeles Times

    2) Analysis: Vote shows Israel making little headway at United Nations The Jerusalem Post

    3) Jerusalem as Israeli Capital: UN rejects Trump’s recognition The Daily Star

    4) With UN vote, Trump gets what he deserves CNN-

    5) UN Jerusalem vote: Trump threatened to cut aid to countries that defied him at UN and this is how they responded The Independent

    6) Europe’s governments fail the Jews – again Arutz Sheva

    7) UN rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital New York Daily News

    8) Defying Trump, UN General Assembly Condemns US Decree on Jerusalem In Depth New York Times

    9) Defying US financial threats, UN votes to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem decision NBCNews

    10) Israel’s envoy Danon calls UN vote an ‘Empty victory for Palestinians’ i24NEWS

    11) Nikki Haley invites countries who supported US in UN Israel vote to reception Fox News

    12) The Latest: ‘Global no’ to US over Jerusalem capital Houston Chronicle

    13) For Palestinian Christians, Trump is Christmas killjoy Daily Mail

    14) US ambassador attacks UN for having ‘disrespected’ America with Israel vote The Independent

    15) Israel rejects ‘preposterous’ UN vote, thanks nations that supported ‘the truth’ The Times of Israel

    16) Israel Rejects UN Vote, Thanks Trump for Stance on Jerusalem U.S. News & World Report

    17) UN votes 128-9 to reject US decision on Jerusalem The Daily Star

  • Helen4Yemen

    “Denying the connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths undermines the integrity of the site for all. We also reiterate the need to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s Holy sites.”

    Marc-Andre Blanchard, Canada’s UN ambassador

    Muslims: 1,800,000,000
    Christians: 2,200,000,000
    Jews: 16,000,000

  • kirby1

    A widespread pattern of actions by Islamists in support a pre-eminent, if not exclusive, Islamic claim to the Holy Land:

    In Nazareth, Muslim zealots have sought since 1997 to construct a large mosque that would dwarf the Christian Basilica of the Annunciation.

    On October 7, 2000, after constant attacks by Palestinian mobs, the Jewish holy site of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus (Shechem) was sacked and burned, and later converted into a mosque.

    Five days later, the ancient Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho was sacked and burned by Palestinians.

    Rachel’s Tomb at the Jerusalem-Bethlehem border has come under repeated Palestinian sniper attack.

    In April 2002, Palestinian Tanzim gunmen from Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and controlled the site for weeks at gunpoint.

    However, the activities by the Muslim Waqf and the Israeli Muslim movement on the Temple Mount represent an unprecedented attempt to deny any legitimacy to the ancient Jewish heritage in Jerusalem.

    After September 2000, the Muslim Waqf closed off the Temple Mount entirely to any archeological oversight by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Then, in order to complete new underground mosques at the site, it removed to city garbage dumps some 13,000 tons of rubble from the Temple Mount that included archeological remnants from the First and Second Temple periods.

    The intention is to turn the entire 36-acre Temple Mount compound into an exclusively Muslim site by erasing every sign, remnant, and memory of its Jewish past, including the destruction of archeological findings that are proof of this past.

    In a country where construction projects may be held up for months out of concern for the preservation of antiquities, the free hand given the Muslim Waqf to destroy Jewish artifacts at Judaism’s holiest site is hard to comprehend.

  • I personally think, whether or not you support Israel, making these threats against other member-states defeats the very purpose of the U.N.’s original foundation, which was international cooperation between all countries as equals.

  • kirby1

    Snopes:
    Below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations records:

    Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time.
    Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time.
    Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time.
    United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.
    Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.
    Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.
    Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.
    Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.
    Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.
    Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.
    Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
    Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
    Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.
    Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.
    Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.
    India votes against the United States 81% of the time.
    Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.
    Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.

    US Foreign Aid to those that hate us:

    Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2 billion annually in US Foreign Aid.

    Jordan votes 71% against the United States and receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

    Pakistan votes 75% against the United States receives $6,721,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

    India votes 81% against the United States receives $143,699,000 annually

    Perhaps it is time to get out of the UN and give the tax savings back to the American workers who are having to skimp and sacrifice to pay the taxes.

    Pass it along. Everyone needs to know this. Might even mention it to your congressman, who knows this anyway… what a disgrace… no wonder the world has no respect for us.

    https://www. snopes. com/inboxer/outrage/unvote.asp

  • Ricor

    I thought Washington DC was the capitol of Israel.