The U.S and Israel: A record of isolation at the U.N.

“It’s in the world’s interest.” Those words were spoken by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sept. 12 to justify U.S. backing for Israel’s attacks on Palestinian people in Gaza. He was representing a bipartisan Senate delegation.  

Although the Democrats and Republicans move in lockstep regarding their support for Israel, the rest of the world might not appreciate Schumer speaking for them, especially as there is global opposition to the U.S.-backed Israeli siege of Gaza. 

The U.S. and Israel are frequently the only dissenting votes in otherwise unanimous resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly.  Consider the multiple resolutions on the human right to food.  The most recent resolution in December 2021 had 186 “yes” votes and only two “no” votes – made by the U.S. and Israel. 

Every year for the past 30 years, an overwhelming majority of member countries in the U.N. General Assembly has voted to lift the brutal U.S. blockade on Cuba, imposed in 1962.  Usually, only Israel votes alongside Washington to maintain this inhumane U.S. law. Occasionally two or three countries abstain from the vote if they are trying to curry favor with the U.S., such as Brazil, during the term of former President Jair Bolsonaro, and Ukraine in the November 2022 vote. 

The U.S. State Department releases an annual breakdown of the country’s voting record in the U.N., including a section on how many times the U.S. and Israel voted together against a global consensus. In 2021, this occurred nine times; in the previous two years, it happened 15 times, and in 2018, the two countries voted together 11 times.  

These two rogue states have voted together against the majority of other countries on a variety of topics, ranging from vetoing sustainability resolutions to refusing support for international democracy and equitability. One topic which they routinely vote against is decolonization. Any U.N. resolution that encourages giving greater autonomy to colonized people, or that implies a level of responsibility to aid them, gains the ire of the U.S. and Israel. 

U.S. vetoes U.N. resolutions about Israel

Many resolutions that leave the U.S. and Israel isolated pertain explicitly to Israel’s role. In 2020, U.N. votes condemned Israel’s actions more than those of all other countries combined. These repeatedly proposed resolutions never passed. The more progressive resolutions routinely gain resounding approval by the majority of U.N. member countries, but are opposed by Israel, the U.S., and a few tiny Pacific Island nations which rely on Washington for almost all their trade. 

These resolutions include calls for assistance to Palestinian refugees and returning their stolen property, supporting the right to Palestinian self-determination, and ending Israel’s occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights.

Since 1972, the U.S. has vetoed at least 54 U.N. Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, using its permanent seat to abet Israel’s countless crimes against humanity. On Oct. 18, the U.S. was the only member of the Security Council to veto a resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause” in Israel’s bombing of Gaza, to allow aid to get through.  (Guardian, Oct. 18)

When U.S. ambassador Michele Taylor spoke at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Oct. 18, the entire room full of participants, representing 140 organizations, turned their backs to protest U.S. violations of human rights. (Center for Constitutional Rights, Oct. 18) 

Since Oct. 7, the corporate media in the U.S. and other core imperialist countries have repeatedly lied, misrepresented, and obscured facts in order to drum up support for Israel’s ongoing brutal colonization of Palestine. 

While Israeli planes drop bombs day and night on the people of Gaza, the U.S. has promised the Zionist state unlimited funds and military equipment to continue the bombing.

Considering the criminal history of the U.S. in defending Israel’s most indefensible crimes — even in the face of global condemnation –– and considering the Pentagon’s own war crimes against the peoples of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, and considering how the corporate press has lied about those crimes, perhaps those who follow media sources such as the New York Times, CNN and Fox News should be wary when they cry out in one voice that genocide should be supported. 

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