World denounces Israel for brutality in Gaza Strip
The United Nations General Assembly spoke out powerfully against Israeli atrocities including the intentional killing and maiming of civilian protestors who are outside of Israel’s borders. Vicious Nikki Haley gets slapped down by members of the United Nations criticizing her hypocrisy to denounce violence against civilians around the world except when the victims are Christian and Muslim Palestinians and the offender is the apartheid government of Israel.
By Ray Hanania
In an emergency meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an Arab-sponsored resolution calling for greater protection for Palestinians and deploring any use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate” force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in Gaza.
UN delegates were particularly incensed with the outrageous hypocrisy demonstrated by American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley who has embraced fascism, denouncing atrocities against civilians by governments around the world except when those victims are civilians attacked by Israel’s apartheid government.
The emergency session of the 193-member Assembly, came about following weeks of violence along the border of the Gaza Strip – the Palestinian enclave blockaded by Israel – where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians participated in “the Great March of Return” protests, beginning at the end of March.
More than 120 Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed by Israeli forces while participating in the protests against Israel’s years-long blockade.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 in favor, 8 against, with 45 abstentions. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley denounced the resolution and said the United States stands by Israel’s right to murder unarmed innocent civilians to protect its Apartheid form of government and its racially discriminatory policies against Christians and Muslims inside and outside of Israel.
Arabs throughout Israel and the Middle East cheered the UN for standing up to Israel’s bullying and the bullying of Haley who has demonstrated a unique hypocrisy to criticize every other nation for abusing civilian rights and attacking protestors, but not the same atrocities committed by the Government of Israel.
Haley has been roundly denounced as a fascist by leaders around the world, a hypocrite who closes her eyes to atrocities when they involve America’s political interests.
A US amendment which condemned the role played in Gaza by the Hamas extremist group, which controls the enclave, was voted on first.
After several rounds of procedural voting and delays over tallying votes, the US text secured the support of 62 countries, with 58 against; coming up short of the two-thirds majority needed. It was a massive blow to Haley’s prestige and influence in the world arena.
Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák convened the meeting, following a formal request from Algeria and Turkey, in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Unlike a resolution on Palestinian civilian protection that was vetoed by the US in the UN Security Council on 1 June, Wednesday’s identical resolution in the Assembly was not subject to the same rules as exist in the Council.
The text adopted “deplores the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip, including the use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists, and expresses its grave concern at the loss of innocent lives.”
It also “demands that Israel, the occupying Power, refrain from such actions and fully abide by its legal obligations and responsibilities” under the fourth Geneva Convention on protecting civilians in times of war.
It also requests that the Secretary-General, within 60 days, present his “proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
The text also “deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas,” but does not single out Hamas as being responsible for such launches.
The US amendment sought to add to the Arab-sponsored text, a paragraph, by which the Assembly would “condemn Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence along the boundary fence, thereby putting civilians at risk.”
It would have also demanded that “Hamas cease all violent activity and provocative actions,” and condemned the use of resources in Gaza to construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, saying that such funds should be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population.
Briefing journalists earlier in the day, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, Brenden Varma, said that if the resolution passed, it would represent an “important expression of political will” and an “important recommendation by the General Assembly.”
Pathway around Security Council veto
Wednesday’s meeting – the tenth emergency special session – was held in accordance with the so-named ‘Uniting for peace’ procedure.
This procedure, under Assembly resolution 377 (1950), is a pathway around a Security Council veto. By it, the Assembly can call an emergency special session to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures,” if the Security Council fails to act or if there is lack of unanimity among the Council’s permanent members, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Resolutions in the Assembly are non-binding and do not carry the force of international law as do measures agreed in the Security Council.
Find out more about the Assembly’s emergency special sessions and resolution 377 (1950) here.
Hanan Ashrawi, a spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which is a governing body of the Palestinian National Authority welcomed the United Nations vote calling for protections for civilians in the Gaza Strip from the atrocities committed by the Government of the State of Israel, a UN member in international disrepute.
Here is Dr. Ashrawi’s statement in response to the overwhelming United Nations vote denouncing Israel’s assaults against unarmed civilians who are on their side of the Gaza-Israel border exercising their fundamental human right to protest against Israeli atrocities and violations of the International Rule of Law:
PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi welcomed the adoption of yesterday’s UN General Assembly vote deploring ‘the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians’ and calling for the protection of the Palestinian civilian population. The resolution was adopted by an overwhelming vote of 120 in favor, 8 votes against and 45 abstentions:
“On behalf of the Palestinian leadership and the people of Palestine, we extend our gratitude to those countries who stood on the right side of justice and voted in favor of the resolution; their firm support sends a strong and clear message that they will not succumb to American political blackmail or attempts of intimidation and coercion by external parties. Such a move also constitutes an important investment in peace and human dignity, as well as in the security and stability of the region and beyond.
Those countries who abstained, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and United Kingdom, are called upon to abide by their own principles, resolutions and legislation and to uphold the integrity of the global rule of law. It is regrettable that the U.S. has succeeded in dividing Europe who should form a safeguard for the multilateral system that the U.S. is currently bent on destroying.
Countries like the United States and Australia who voted against the resolution have exposed their unabashed contempt for international law and UN resolutions.
In a blatant maneuver to circumvent the resolution and subvert international consensus, the United States proposed changes that as usual would blame the victim and exonerate the culpability of the occupation. The United States has once again demonstrated its fateful alliance with Israel in which it provides total protection for Israel’s unlawful and immoral behavior and war crimes against the Palestinian people.
We urge a serious follow-up on the resolution, in a particular, comprehensive mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of implementation. It is time for the international community to undertake concrete measures to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people and to hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions.”
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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