The US has served as a fig leaf for the UN Security Council (UNSC) for far too long. When the US would veto resolutions, the names of all those countries who voted in favour of the resolution would fade into the dungeons of unnecessary details that need not be filed or remembered.
Not so now!
We will remember that Egypt obliged US President-Elect Donald Trump and Israel (most likely the former rather than the latter) by backing down from raising the resolution proposal to the UNSC floor. Kudos to Egypt!
We will remember that Senegal, Malaysia, New Zealand and Venezuela placed the resolution back on the agenda the very next day, the last working day before Christmas and probably the last working day of 2016.
Malaysia and Venezuela are no big surprise – we have no diplomatic relations with either country. But Senegal, with whom there have been warming relations and who have benefited from Israeli expertise in agriculture to name one area of cooperation? New Zealand, with whom, in spite of some rocky diplomatic snafus over the years, has largely had a positive relationship with Israel?
Had the USA vetoed the resolution, Netanyahu would not have come down hard on Senegal and New Zealandfor having put it up for the vote. In my opinion, it should not have needed to pass for him to recall our ambassadors from these two countries and cease development aid to Senegal. But the veto would have made the resolution slide into oblivion with no accountability on the part of those who proposed it. I hope this changes the game. I hope from now on, an ally or beneficiary who proposes such shameful resolutions will find themselves banished from our sight. (I know, realpolitik does not allow for such righteousness.)
We will remember that supposed friends and allies — the UK and France — permanent members of the UNSC, voted in favour of this resolution. We will remember that permanent members China and The Russian Federation, both looking for ways to increase cooperative ventures with Israel, voted in favour of this resolution.
We will remember that those who seek our help in various technological, agricultural, security, medical spheres, and more, and who happened to be temporary members of the council at this time voted to unfairly tie our hands behind our backs in our dealings with the Palestinian Authority — Angola (Israel provides much development aid), Egypt (security cooperation), Japan (trade and research-and-development agreements), Ukraine (that signed an employment agreement with Israel in June), Uruguay (which has in recent years voted in support of Israel in various UN bodies and that has development agreements with Israel).
Not a friend of Israel, Spain’s vote in favour of the resolution was par for the course.
There are other countries who also seek our help yet did not have to weigh in on this vote as they are not members of UNSC. But I think that we — I know that I — will be watching to see if they go along publicly with the manipulations of the Palestinian Arabs or if they stand up for truth and justice. For truth and justice were dealt a vicious blow on the international stage yesterday.
So thank-you President Obama. I am not upset with your instructions to the American UN ambassador to abstain. I am not upset by the fact that you were probably instrumental in the preparation of the resolution (according to Alan Dershowitz). Quite the contrary. I am glad that you allowed the UN to shine once more in its aura of duplicity and stupidity and turn up the light, not on foes but on friends who are foes.