US exposes itself by vetoing resolution on Palestine

China Daily
Wang Xinjuan
2024-04-20 22:07:52

Representatives from the United Nations Security Council vote on Thursday in New York on a draft resolution that recommended the UN General Assembly admit Palestine as a full UN member. The resolution failed, as it was vetoed by the United States. MINLU ZHANG / China Daily

The vote in the United Nations Security Council on Palestine's full membership on Thursday highlights the enduring, but unfortunately unsuccessful, quest of the Palestinian people for statehood. It also exposes the United States, which vetoed the widely backed UN resolution that would have facilitated the full membership of Palestine, as the biggest obstacle to the Palestinian people's legitimate pursuit of their rights. So much for the self-proclaimed leader of the free world.

It was in 2011 that the Palestinian Authority first applied to join the world body as a member. That attempt failed because the Palestinians didn't get the required minimum support of nine of the 15 UN Security Council members.

But this time, 12 of the 15 Security Council members, including US allies France, Japan and the Republic of Korea, voted in favor of the resolution, with the United Kingdom and Switzerland abstaining. And yet the US vetoed it.

The overwhelming support Palestine received this time reflects the increasing number of UN members recognizing its statehood as well as the global support for the Palestinian people facing a humanitarian crisis because of the incessant attacks by Israeli forces.

By vetoing the UN resolution on Thursday, after having vetoed four previous resolutions calling for a cease-fire in Gaza, the US has positioned itself against the international community. The US has not only prevented the Palestinian people from fulfilling their aspirations, but also prompted scrutiny of its claim of being the biggest "protector of human rights".

US Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs in the UN Robert Wood has been reported as saying that Palestine's UN membership "needs to be the outcome of the negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians", as well as "something that would flow from the result of those negotiations".

The US' blind support of Israel has eroded the basis for a two-state solution — which is the only path toward lasting peace.

The US has long called for direct talks between Israel and Palestine to resolve the Palestinian issue, but by doing so, it overlooks the shifting dynamics within the region, including Israel's reluctance to accept a two-state solution. The expanding Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands in the West Bank have significantly reduced the territory of the Palestine state since it first applied to join the UN in 2011.

On Friday morning, within hours of the US vetoing the Security Council resolution, US officials confirmed that an Israeli missile had hit an Iranian site while explosions were reported near the Iranian city of Isfahan, with flights across several areas including Teheran and Isfahan suspended. By insisting on direct negotiations between Israel and the countries with which it has disputes, the US is only making the situation in the Middle East more volatile.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza is already nearly 34,000, with the majority of them being women and children.

At a time when an Israeli attack on Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are huddled to escape the ruthless Israeli attacks in central and northern Gaza, is possible, and the Palestine-Israel conflict could spread to the rest of the Middle East, the US should align itself with the right course of history to uphold justice and peace.

Despite the setback, the international community, defying the duplicitous US, should intensify efforts to ensure the Palestinian people get justice by acceding to the UN as a full member.

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