The United Nations today voted down a United States resolution condemning Hamas terrorism, with states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran banding together to claim that the resolution was faulty for not assessing blame to Israel.
The resolution condemned Hamas for “repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk” and for its military activities in Gaza including constructing tunnels “to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas.” Less than a month ago, Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into southern Israel, striking a bus.
The General Assembly took a procedural vote before voting on the resolution, and decided that a two-thirds majority would be needed to pass it.
“The General Assembly has never said anything – not one thing – about Hamas, even when we all agree Hamas’ behavior undermines any prospects for peace. The General Assembly has never uttered the word in any resolution about Hamas,” Ambassador Nikki Haley said. “Just last Friday there was no decision that resolutions under this same agenda item had to be adopted by a two-thirds vote. You didn’t do it then. Similarly, there should be no decision that a two-thirds majority applies now. There should be no double standards in this chamber.”
“I want to be clear about the consequences of this procedural vote. This is a decision meant purely to disrupt the adoption of the resolution that the United States has put forward. Those putting forward this motion want our resolution to fail,” she added. “My Kuwaiti brother knows that. The Arab group knows that. You should not let them.”
The procedural vote requiring two-thirds adoption passed 75-72, with 26 nations abstaining.
Before the final vote, Haley reminded the chamber that last Friday the General Assembly voted six times in one day to condemn Israel. “The question before us now is whether the UN thinks terrorism is acceptable if, and only if, it is directed at Israel. That is something we should all think deeply about,” she said, noting that the resolution was not a judgment one way or another on the peace process but “a foundational element of peace — that foundation is the rejection of terrorism, because we all know there can be no peace without a mutual agreement that terrorism is unacceptable.”
“Hamas tactics have changed again, as it has adopted still more methods of killing Israeli civilians and damaging Israeli civilian property. They have launched flaming kites and balloons by the thousands, often with Nazi symbols on them, into Israeli civilian areas. This is the classic case of terrorism,” she said. “And yet, throughout all of this, the United Nations has never once passed a resolution condemning Hamas. Never. Over  resolutions condemning Israel and not one single resolution condemning Hamas. That, more than anything else, is a condemnation of the United Nations itself.”
Haley added that “what the UN chooses to do today will speak volumes about each country’s seriousness when it comes to condemning anti-Semitism — because there is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying terrorism is not terrorism when it’s used against the Jewish people and the Jewish State.”
“There is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we would not hesitate for one minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country.”
Eighty-seven countries voted in favor of the U.S. resolution, 57 voted against and 33 abstained, which meant it failed to pass the earlier-set two-thirds threshold.
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said those who had voted against the resolution “should be ashamed of themselves.”
“We thank those moral member states that stood by the truth and condemned Hamas for its relentless acts of terror,” Danon tweeted. “For 13 years, Hamas has launched 13,000 rockets, constructed 40 terror tunnels to kidnap and kill Israelis. It exploits its people, uses them as human shields, and deprives them of basic human rights, and steals billions of dollars. Hamas is no different than ISIS or al-Qaeda.”
“Hamas continues to hold hostage 4 young Israelis, in flagrant violation of international law. It broke UN ceasefires to kill and capture Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin in 2014, and kidnapped Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed. Hamas refuses to provide any proof of life,” he added. “Let me be clear: there is no ‘both sides.’ There is a terrorist org that endangers civilians, and there is a state that protects them. Soon, the world will stare reality in the face and finally condemnation.”
Still, Danon called 87 nations voting to condemn Hamas a milestone and “an unprecedented coalition.”
Hamas declared in a statement that the failure of the resolution was “a triumph for the Palestinian people, for the Arab and Islamic nations, and for all free people of the world” and “a serious failure for the ‘bullying policy’ of the Trump administration adopted in the region.”
“The practices of the US administration, including blackmailing the UN member states, are desperate attempts to manipulate reality, turn the victim into a villain, and impose a new international legitimacy that is based on hegemony, chaos, and law of jungle,” the terror group said in a statement, adding that “the real terrorism that should be condemned by all states and parties is the Zionist occupation” and asking countries that supported the U.S. resolution to “reconsider their stance.”