Ignominious Veto by Washington Denies UN Membership to Palestine

On April 18, the UN Security Council held its vote on Palestine’s request to become a full member state in the United Nations. The overwhelming majority, 12 nations from all parts of the world (Algeria, China, Ecuador, France, Guyana, Japan, Korea, Malta, Mozambique, Russia, Sierra Leone and Slovenia) voted in favor. Two abstained, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The United States was the only voice against, thus killing the request with its veto.

UN Secretary General António Guterres opened the debate with a stark warning: “The Middle East is on a precipice. Recent days have seen a perilous escalation – in words and deeds. One miscalculation, one miscommunication, one mistake, could lead to the unthinkable – a full-scale regional conflict that would be devastating for all involved- and for the rest of the world…. It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation.”

Over 40 speakers representing nations or international bodies then addressed the Security Council. Many echoed the concern of the Secretary General, and identified the catastrophe in Gaza, and the failure for more than 75 years to allow the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State, as the root cause of the danger. The need to rectify that injustice dominated the debate, despite the attempt by the U.S., backed by the U.K., to present Iran as the enemy.

Great anger against the United States was evident, however, though few mentioned the U.S. by name. China, Palestine, and Spain called for an International Peace Conference for the region to be urgently convened. But Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira introduced the crucial concept otherwise missing from the debate: economic development. He noted that “Large-scale investment in economic development and infrastructure will be essential to ensure that Palestine achieves the long-term prosperity and stability its resilient people deserve. Sustainable development and economic empowerment are pillars of any lasting peace settlement.” That echoes the approach of the LaRouche Oasis Plan (cf. above).

Another overwhelming disavowal of the “rules based order” imposed by the West had come April 17, in the form of a Joint Statement circulated by the U.S. Mission to the UN, condemning Iran for its “Attack on the State of Israel”. Only 48 nations signed on (out of 193 member states), and only eight of them were from outside the Western bloc. “This tells a humiliating story of U.S. isolation in the UN”, wrote retired Indian Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar in his April 18 commentary. He pointed out that “Iran did not attack Israel. Iran instead retaliated to a blatant attack by Israel against its sovereignty in violation of international law and the UN Charter [destruction of its embassy in Damascus], which was tantamount to an act of war.”

Finally, we note that on April 18, the UNSC held a debate on a request from Israel to dismantle the UN’s Relief and Works Agency, claiming it is thoroughly infiltrated by Hamas. Not one single member of the Security Council expressed support for the claims, not even the United States, which apparently feared it would further isolate the country needlessly.

The head of the agency, Philippe Lazzarini, made clear to the UNSC that dissolving the UNRWA would deepen Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and speed up the onset of famine. He accused the international community of containing rather than resolving the conflict, adding that when a Palestinian state that can deliver education, health care, and social support is established, UNRWA’s role will be finished.

Moreover, the UN investigation into Israel’s claims, chaired by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, released its report April 22, stating that Israel had failed to provide evidence that UNRWA workers in Gaza have ties to terrorist organizations. Therefore, one should expect that those Western nations that rushed to cut off funding to the UN agency in February will resume payments without delay…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email