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December 6, 2018 5:37 pm

US-Authored Anti-Hamas Resolution Thwarted at UN, but Israel Hails Growing Support as ‘Historic Achievement’

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US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Photo: Reuters / Mike Segar.

A US-authored resolution condemning the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas won a plurality of votes in the UN General Assembly on Thursday, but a procedural move initiated by its opponents thwarted its passage.

While 87 countries backed the motion, compared to 57 that rejected it (with 33 abstentions), it did not meet a 2/3 majority requirement that was put in place — with the support of a group of Arab nations — just before the vote.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon nevertheless hailed the vote as a “historic achievement” — in that a “record number” of countries got behind an anti-Hamas resolution.

The last time the US put forth a motion denouncing Hamas, in June, the vote was 62-58 in favor, with 42 abstentions — a smaller plurality that also failed to reach a 2/3 threshold.

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“The broad support from the world demonstrates the changes we have made in the UN,” Danon said on Thursday. “With the support of these countries, we will continue our work in the UN against Hamas terrorism.”

The Israeli diplomat also thanked his US counterpart, Ambassador Nikki Haley, for her “close cooperation in fighting for the truth that led to the formation of an unprecedented coalition for Israel and against terrorism.”

In remarks delivered ahead of the vote, Haley — who will be leaving her post at the end of the year — said, “What this resolution does is stand for 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.”

“The United Nations has never once passed a resolution condemning Hamas,” Haley pointed out. “Over 700 resolutions condemning Israel, and not one single resolution condemning Hamas. That, more than anything else, is a condemnation of the United Nations itself.”

“What the UN chooses to do today will speak volumes about each country’s seriousness when it comes to condemning antisemitism, because there is nothing more antisemitic than saying terrorism is not terrorism when it’s used against the Jewish people and the Jewish state,” Haley added. “There is nothing more antisemitic 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.”

Furthermore, she noted, “before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must be on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemning Hamas terrorism.”

“Regardless of what any country in this chamber thinks a future peace settlement should look like,” Haley said, “support for this resolution is an essential step to achieving it.”

“Peace must be built on truth,” she emphasized.

The resolution was a manifestation of a more proactive US strategy to support Israel at the UN — outlined to The Algemeiner in an interview with a State Department official this past summer — that has been rolled out by Haley.

The 2/3 majority requirement was instituted on Thursday based on a 75-72 vote (with 26 abstentions) that was initiated by Kuwait.

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