The US has used its veto power 42 times against draft Security Council resolutions pertaining to Israel since it first began using the veto in 1970.
The UN Security Council is expected to vote today on a draft resolution rejecting the recent move by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, widely condemned around the world.
As Israel’s biggest ally – the US gives Israel around $3bn in aid annually, largely military, each year – a UN Security Council vote was always going to be ambitious.
The US, as one of the UN’s five permanent members – alongside the UK, France, Russia and China – retains a veto power on any draft resolution presented to the Security Council. The other 10 rotating powers do not hold such a veto.
So while the Egyptian-drafted text has broad support among the 15-member council, according to diplomats, it is unlikely to be adopted, given the US veto.
The US has used its veto power 42 times against draft Security Council resolutions pertaining to Israel, according to the Jewish Virtual Library, since it first began using the veto in 1970.
The first, resolution S/10784, expressed deep concern “at the deteriorating situation in the Middle East” and was aimed at Israeli aggression on the Lebanese border.
Drafted by Guinea, Yugoslavia and Somalia, the resolution was vetoed only by the US. Panama abstained.
Several similar resolutions were also vetoed by the US in the intervening years – in 1975, the year civil war broke out in Lebanon, resolution S/11898 called on “Israel to desist forthwith from all military attacks against Lebanon.” Again, the US was the only veto.
In 1982, the year which saw some of the fiercest Israeli aggression against Lebanon, Spain presented a draft resolution which demanded Israel “withdraw all its military forces forthwith and unconditionally to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon,” within six hours. The US vetoed.
And again in 1985, 1986 and 1988, the US vetoed similar resolutions. The Lebanese civil war ended in 1990, but Israel did not withdraw from the south of the country until 2000.
The Final Status issue of Jerusalem, which the Oslo Accord stipulated would be discussed only in the latter stages of any peace deal between Israel and Palestine, has long been the target of the US veto at the UN.
Draft resolution S/12022, introduced in 1976, called on Israel to protect the “Holy Places which are under its occupation.”
It said it was “Deeply concerned further at the measures taken by the Israeli authorities leading to the present grave situation including measures aimed at changing the physical, cultural, demographic and religious character of the occupied territories.”
The US was the only country to vote against the draft text.
In 1982, Morocco, Iran, Jordan and Uganda presented a draft resolution after an Israeli soldier shot at Muslims, killing at least two, within the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem.
It called upon “the occupying Power [Israel], to observe and apply scrupulously the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the principles of international law governing military occupation and to refrain from causing any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Higher Islamic Council in Jerusalem.”
Referring to the Al-Aqsa compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, the text referred to the site as “one of the holiest places of mankind”.
It reiterated the “unique status of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need for protection and preservation of the spiritual and religious dimension of the Holy Places in the city”.
A further draft text calling on Israel to respect Muslim holy places was vetoed by the US in 1986.
In 1976, the US vetoed a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from all Palestinian territory – in this case, the UK, Sweden and Italy abstained.
A draft text presented by Tunisia in 1980 stressed the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people”. The US voted against the draft text; the UK, France, Norway and Portugal abstained.
And in 2004 and 2006, the US refused to call on Israel to halt wars against Gaza, which together killed hundreds of civilians.
Obama’s last stand
But in late 2016, following the election of Donald Trump but before he took office, the US abstained from a vote on Israeli settlements.
It was the first time in four decades that a UN resolution condemning Israel had passed.
This was despite the US using its veto against a similar vote in 2011, and the only time the administration of Barack Obama had wielded its veto during his presidency.
Citing the lack of any visible progress in terms of the peace process, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that: “One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two-state solution that would end the conflict. One had to make a choice between settlements and separation.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a “shameful” move by the US.
The Palestinian leadership has now said it may turn to the UN General Assembly if Washington vetoes the draft UN Security Council resolution, where support among member countries for Palestine has been strong for many years.
Top photo | U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, left, and Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon confer before a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP/Richard Drew)
Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.
UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
Number of UN Resolutions Passed in CondemnationIsraelPalestinians0255075100
Aside from the core issues—refugees, Jerusalem, borders—the major themes reflected in the U.N. resolutions against Israel over the years are its unlawful attacks on its neighbors; its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians, including deportations, demolitions of homes and other collective punishments; its confiscation of Palestinian land; its establishment of illegal settlements; and its refusal to abide by the U.N. Charter and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
Source: United Nations Security Council resolutions passed from 1955 through 1992 were detailed in Paul Findley’s book Deliberate Deceptions (1998, pages 192-4). Resolutions passed from 1993-2013 were accessed at UN.org.
UN Resolutions Against Israel, 1955-2013
- Resolution 106: “…‘condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid”
- Resolution 111: “…‘condemns’ Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people”
- Resolution 127: “…‘recommends’ Israel suspend its ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”
- Resolution 162: “…‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”
- Resolution 171: “…determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”
- Resolution 228: “…‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”
- Resolution 237: “…‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”
- Resolution 248: “…‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”
- Resolution 250: “…‘calls on’ Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”
- Resolution 251: “…‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250”
- Resolution 252: “…‘declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”
- Resolution 256: “…‘condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”
- Resolution 259: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”
- Resolution 262: “…‘condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”
- Resolution 265: “…‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan”
- Resolution 267: “…‘censures’ Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem”
- Resolution 270: “…‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon”
- Resolution 271: “…‘condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”
- Resolution 279: “…‘demands’ withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon”
- Resolution 280: “….‘condemns’ Israeli’s attacks against Lebanon”
- Resolution 285: “…‘demands’ immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon”
- Resolution 298: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”
- Resolution 313: “…‘demands’ that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon”
- Resolution 316: “…‘condemns’ Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon”
- Resolution 317: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon”
- Resolution 332: “…‘condemns’ Israel’s repeated attacks against Lebanon”
- Resolution 337: “…‘condemns’ Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty”
- Resolution 347: “…‘condemns’ Israeli attacks on Lebanon”
- Resolution 425: “…‘calls on’ Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon”
- Resolution 427: “…‘calls on’ Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon’
- Resolution 444: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces”
- Resolution 446: “…‘determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”
- Resolution 450: “…‘calls on’ Israel to stop attacking Lebanon”
- Resolution 452: “…‘calls on’ Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”
- Resolution 465: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel’s settlements program”
- Resolution 467: “…‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon”
- Resolution 468: “…‘calls on’ Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return”
- Resolution 469: “…‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s failure to observe the council’s order not to deport Palestinians”
- Resolution 471: “…‘expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”
- Resolution 476: “…‘reiterates’ that Israel’s claims to Jerusalem are ‘null and void’
- Resolution 478: “…‘censures (Israel) in the strongest terms’ for its claim to Jerusalem in its ‘Basic Law’
- Resolution 484: “…‘declares it imperative’ that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors”
- Resolution 487: “…‘strongly condemns’ Israel for its attack on Iraq’s nuclear facility”
- Resolution 497: “…‘decides’ that Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights is ‘null and void’ and demands that Israel rescind its decision forthwith”
- Resolution 498: “…‘calls on’ Israel to withdraw from Lebanon”
- Resolution 501: “…‘calls on’ Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops”
- Resolution 509: “…‘demands’ that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon”
- Resolution 515: “…‘demands’ that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in”
- Resolution 517: “…‘censures’ Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon”
- Resolution 518: “…‘demands’ that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon”
- Resolution 520: “…‘condemns’ Israel’s attack into West Beirut”
- Resolution 573: “…‘condemns’ Israel ‘vigorously’ for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters
- Resolution 587: “…‘takes note’ of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw”
- Resolution 592: “…‘strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops”
- Resolution 605: “…‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians
- Resolution 607: “…‘calls on’ Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention
- Resolution 608: “…‘deeply regrets’ that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians”
- Resolution 636: “…‘deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians
- Resolution 641: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians
- Resolution 672: “…‘condemns’ Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount
- Resolution 673: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations
- Resolution 681: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of Palestinians
- Resolution 694: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return
- Resolution 726: “…‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians
- Resolution 799: “…‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return
- Resolution 904: “…‘strongly condemns’ the massacre in Hebron and its aftermath which took the lives of more than 50 Palestinian civilians and injured several hundred others”
- Resolution 1073: “…‘calls for’ the immediate cessation and reversal of all acts which have resulted in the aggravation of the situation, ‘calls for‘ the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians to be ensured”
- Resolution 1322: “…‘condemns’ acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life”
- Resolution 1402: “…‘calls upon’ both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire; calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah”
- Resolution 1403: “…‘demands’ the implementation of its resolution 1402 (2002) without delay”
- Resolution 1405: “…‘emphasizes’ the urgency of access of medical and humanitarian organizations to the Palestinian civilian population”
- Resolution 1435: “…‘demands’ that Israel immediately cease measures in and around Ramallah including the destruction of Palestinian civilian and security infrastructure”
- Resolution 1544: “…‘calls on’ Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, and insists, in particular, on its obligation not to undertake demolition of homes contrary to that law”
- Resolution 1860: “…‘calls for’ an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza; ‘calls for‘ the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment”
- Resolution 1937: “…‘urges’ the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay”
- Resolution 2004: “…‘urges’ the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay”
- Resolution 2064: “…‘urges’ the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay”
UN Resolutions Against the Palestinians, 1955-2013
- Resolution 1435: “…‘calls on’ the Palestinian Authority to meet its expressed commitment to ensure that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice by it”
Book review of Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgment” – by Ziad Hafez
By Ziad Hafez*, Contemporary Arab Affairs, The Levant News — Many ask about the role of the United States in the creation of Israel. The book under review provides an unequivocal answer: the United States was instrumental in the creation of a Jewish state in the Arab lands of Palestine at the expense of its inhabitants who were there for centuries. Yet, the book shows how pro-Israel American Zionists have manipulated the government, the media to promote the interests of Israel at the expense of the interests and ideals of the United States. The book sheds a new perspective unknown to many about the manipulations of the pro-Israel group in the United States and Great Britain. It is a ‘must read’ for the general reader as well as for the scholar.
None of the established book publishers in the United States is publishing the book under review. Its copyrights are the property of the author Alison Weir, the Executive Director of an organization called “If Americans Knew.org”, or “What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine”. The organization has its logo on the book’s spine and back cover. The low price is an indication that the publishing organization does not have the same overhead costs of established publishing houses!
The author is also the President of another organization called the Council for National Interest (CNI), an organization founded by two former US Congressmen Paul Findley and Paul McCloskey. Both organizations are devoted to the advocacy of a US foreign policy in the Middle East consistent with American interests and not those of a foreign power, i.e. Israel. The contents of the book are probably the reason why no book publisher in the United States would consider publishing it because of the explosive and meticulously documented information about the duplicity and outright illegal if not criminal behavior of the Zionist movement in the United States, Europe, and of course Palestine.
The book was originally a paper to set the record straight about the US-Israel relationship (p .iii). However, “the article grew longer and longer as [she] realized how much there was to be explained” (p. iii). As she received more information that needed confirmation and as further research confirmed such received information and uncovered more facts “the article became a book” (p. iii). The gist of the argument developed in the book is that the pro-Israel movement in the United States “has promoted policies that have exposed Americans to growing danger, and then exaggerated this danger (while disguising its cause), fueling actions that dismember some of the nation’s most fundamental freedoms and cherished principles” (p. 2). She tersely adds, “All this for a population that is considerably smaller than New Jersey’s” (p. 2).
It is a short book covering sixteen chapters and a preface. Its 241 pages include 94 pages of text, and surprisingly 109 pages of endnotes, a bibliography of 24 pages, an extra list of readings not necessarily quoted in the book (3 pages), and 10 pages of ‘index’. Yet, this short book is quite powerful and displays historical accounts and analyses supported by a solid documentation showing scholarly knowledge and objective reporting. Again, this reviewer vents his frustration to see ‘endnotes’ at the end of the book instead of ‘footnotes’ at the end of each page. In this particular instance, the reader who may resent the ‘back and forth’ between the text and the notes may miss crucial information and sometimes true gems.
The bibliography used by the author is quite impressive. Of particular importance is the use of American Jewish scholars, American Zionists, and Israeli scholarship to document the author’s work. The reader will learn many facts buried in obscure books as well as in known works such as biographies of prominent Zionist figures, memoirs of political leaders, and scholarly work recognized internationally. This reviewer was surprised to learn about the collusion between Zionist leaders in Palestine and the United States with Nazi figures before and during World War II (chapter 6). In particular, the cynicism demonstrated by Zionist leaders in preventing President Roosevelt and other Western leaders from providing safe havens for fleeing Jews from countries under Nazi control is particularly horrifying (p. 29). They deliberately sought the sacrifice of Jews in order to use it as a moral blackmail over Western leaders in the promotion and protection of Israel. Quoting journalist Erskine B. Childers in The Spectator in 1960: “One of the most massively important features of the entire Palestine struggle was that Zionism deliberately arranged that the plight of the wretched survivors of Hitlerism should be a ‘moral argument’ which the West had to accept” (p. 30)!
The book is targeting an American readership. It is part of an effort to educate the American public about the lies and deception by American Zionists and advocates of Israel, within Congress, in the media, and in academia, and how the United States of America were used to create Israel. Yet, its scholarly content makes it an indispensable tool for any researcher on the root cause of Middle Eastern turmoil. The author has extensively researched the history of Zionism in the world in general and in the United States in particular. Its main strength is the absence of any anti-Semitic streak or references that will make it hard for pro-Israel sympathizers to attack. This reviewer considers this book more effective and persuasive than the seminal work of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer about the Israeli Lobby (2007).
The author starts by making the argument that American Zionists made their mark first by pushing the United States of America to participate in World War I, even though that “most analysts consider WWI a pointless conflict that resulted from diplomatic entanglements rather than some travesty of justice or aggression” (p. 15). The United States joined this unnecessary war “a few years into the hostilities, costing many American lives, even though the U.S. was not party to the alliances that had drawn other nations into the fray” (p. 15). The author states unequivocally that “diverse documentary evidence shows that Zionists pushed for the US to enter the war on Britain’s side as part of the deal to gain British support for their colonization of Palestine” (p. 16). The author notes that the Americans had strongly opposed entering the war and that President Woodrow Wilson had won the presidency with slogan “he kept us out of war” (endnote 60 quoting the White House archives). It is eerily resembling President Obama’s promise of withdrawing from military confrontations in the Middle East and not embarking upon new wars, and yet here we are facing a creeping military involvement in Syria and Iraq and God forbid with Iran, to the benefit of Israel!
Zionist endeavors to push the United States into war is because “from the very beginning of their movement, Zionists realized that if they were to succeed in their goal of creating a Jewish state on land that was already inhabited by non-Jews, they needed the backing from one of the ‘great powers’” (p. 16). Hence, having the United States siding with Great Britain in World War I would achieve their goal of having Great Britain supporting Zionist efforts. This is the essence of the efforts leading to the Balfour Declaration.
The author adopts a historical as well as an analytical narrative describing succinctly yet effectively the rise of the American Zionist lobby. It sheds light on the role of Max Norday, Louis Brandeis, and Felix Frankfurter among others in establishing, structuring, and promoting Zionism among American elites. At first, American Jews were not particularly impressed by Zionism and felt their loyalty was primarily to the United States. Quoting Zionist leaders who decried what they considered a problem with American Jews: “The American Jew thinks of himself first and foremost as an American citizen….Loyalty to America is now the supreme watchword” (p. 36 and endnote 145).
Having established the lobby and having succeeded in enrolling American Jews by means of indoctrination, cajoling, and threats the various Zionist organizations in the United States went out to establish a firm grip on US media. Quoting Richard Stevens, the author states: “Zionists early on learned to exploit the essential nature of the American political system that policies can be made and un-made through force of public opinion and pressure. Procuring influence in the media, both paid and unpaid, has been a key component of their success” (p. 85 and endnote 340). The author devotes the last chapter narrating the demise of America’s most famous female journalist Dorothy Thompson who valiantly tried in the late forties to tell Americans about Palestinian refugees (chapter 16).
The endnotes have fascinated this reviewer. Indeed, there are true gems of information that could have been part of the main text. Yet, the text in its present form makes its arguments quite straightforward. Endnotes are used to flesh out the narrative with many scholarly quotes and sometimes not well-known pieces of information.
Among the endnotes that caught the reviewer’s attention endnote 69. Quoting William Yale, the author of The Near East: A Modern History. Yale, a descendant of the founder of the Yale University, was an authority of the Middle East. He had worked with the State Department in a number of roles in the Middle East including as a member of the King Crane Commission (p. 124). Yale writes: “ the Zionists in England set about winning British support for Zionism….The methods by which the conquest of the British government was made were diverse and of necessity in some cases devious” (p. 124).
As the Allied cause in 1916 was far from bright, and quoting Zionist leaders, the latter worked to persuade British officials that “the best and perhaps the only way (which proved to be so) to induce the American President to come into the war was to secure the cooperation of Zionist Jews by promising them Palestine, and thus enlist and mobilize the hitherto unsuspectedly powerful forces of Zionist Jews in America and elsewhere in favor of the Allies on a quid pro quo contract basis. In other words, an unnecessary war gone badly required the intervention of the United States in order to secure the support of the British government in establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.
Another interesting endnote is endnote 197 where the author quotes history professor Lawrence Davidson about Clark Clifford’s commitment to Zionism. It is part of a section in chapter 8 where the author indicates how State Department officials opposed the pro-Israel movement and how Clifford circumvented them. The latter justified his sympathy toward the plight of Jews as part of his ‘humanitarian’ make up! Yet, Davidson doubts that “given Clifford’s uncaring attitude toward the United States’ diplomatic staff in the Middle East, it is hard to believe that he was much moved by high principle. More likely, his decision to back a Zionist state in Palestine, with all its violent and destabilizing consequences for millions of people, was made simply on the basis of its ability to help forward the political ambitions of the man he worked for [Truman]” (p. 161).
The book has focused on the development of Zionism in the United States. The book would have gained even more weight had the authors listed the disastrous effects of American unilateral alignment with Israel. Indeed, such policies have been detrimental to the Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular but also to the ideals and interests of the United States. However, this may be the subject of another book.
Mearsheimer, John, J. and Walt, Stephen, M. The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy, New York, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2007.
Yale, William, The Near East: A Modern History, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1968.
*Ziad Hafez is General Secretary for the Arab National Conference, the leading Arab nationalist organization. A leading intellectual with a background in economics, political science, law, and university teaching, Hafez is the author of numerous books and articles in Arabic, French, and English. This review was first published in Contemporary Arab Affairs, a quarterly journal issued in London by Taylor and Francis and sponsored by the Center of Arab Unity Studies. It was also distributed by Al-Hewar Center.
Related: More reviews of Against Our Better Judgment are on the book website.