A stunning rebuke
U.N. cease-fire vote humiliates U.S. imperialism

December 11, 2023

Map depicts isolation of U.S, Israel in U.N. General Assembly vote in October 2023. (Map: Geopolitical Economy)

The United Nations Security Council vote on December 8, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Palestine, was a public humiliation of the United States. When explaining their vote, numerous countries denounced the U.S. — Israel’s number one supporter — as the accomplice, the enabler and the real force behind the Zionist destruction in Gaza.

The U.S. vetoed the resolution, making the resounding vote by every other member of the current Security Council unenforceable. Britain, the only remaining U.S. ally, acted like a loyal lap dog and abstained. Yet the vote was unprecedented; 100 member countries of the U.N. signed on to the resolution with less than 24 hours’ notice.

It is politically significant that the U.S. effort to amend the resolution, by inserting a condemnation of the Oct. 7 actions by the united Palestinian resistance, was refused. The vote was an assertion of the Palestinian right to resist occupation — a right that has long been recognized in international law but is usually ignored.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield attempted to label Hamas as a terrorist force. This also went down in public defeat, which was a global victory for the Palestinian resistance.

Of course, the U.N. has been a mere talk shop for decades. Its Secretariat and even its “humanitarian organizations” have been largely controlled through heavy-handed U.S. dictates. But the fact that more than 100 U.N. personnel have been killed by Israeli bombs in Gaza is fueling enormous anger at the U.S. within the body. The deaths of its workers are challenging toothless and usually complicit U.N. agencies to publicly denounce the killing of over 17,000 Palestinians. 

Pressure on Guterres led to vote being called

Pressure from within the United Nations is what led the usually compliant U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to convene the emergency meeting. For the first time in his tenure as Secretary-General, Guterres invoked Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, under which he “may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.” 

On X, Guterres posted: “Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the Council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe and appeal for a humanitarian cease-fire to be declared.”

Growing U.S. isolation and its waning ability to enforce its domination through any political forum was confirmed in a stark new way. Only its military firepower remains. This overwhelming firepower is being challenged by a small armed resistance in a totally occupied Gaza. 

The resistance in the West Bank is defending Palestinians from armed settler lynch mobs who operate with the Israeli Occupation Forces. In the past, these enforcers of apartheid acted with impunity. In addition to the armed resistance, a call for a Global General Strike has resonated in the West Bank and the surrounding countries, bringing about a total shutdown on Dec. 11. 

Israel is being challenged by revolutionary forces in Yemen, who through several drone and missile attacks and then by daringly boarding Israeli-owned freighters, have forced all other Israeli chartered ships to avoid the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. They must navigate around Africa and into the Mediterranean Sea, causing the cost of supplies to skyrocket. 

The U.N. vote is mirrored in hundreds of votes by unions and student assemblies, city council resolutions and actions by grassroots organizations globally. This can’t be shut down by U.S. demands.

The vote in the U.N. Security Council has now moved to the United Nations General Assembly. This vote, scheduled for Dec. 12, will lead to a further U.S. humiliation and a resounding defense of Palestine’s right to resist occupation.

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