US, Israel Vote Against 2021 United Nations Budget, Citing ‘Hate, Antisemitism, and Anti-Israel Bias’
Israel on Thursday joined the government of the United States in voting against the approval of the UN’s budget for 2021, with both countries citing the global organization’s institutionalized bias against the Jewish state as a key factor.
Only the US and Israel opposed the $3.2 billion budget, which normally passes by consensus, with 168 member states voting in favor.
In her statement to the General Assembly, US Ambassador Kelly Craft argued that for the sake of “accommodation of all viewpoints,” the UN stood “poised to adopt a budget that reflects such an accommodation that extends a shameful legacy of hate, antisemitism, and anti-Israel bias.”
“The United States rejects this effort and called for this vote to make clear that we stand by our principles, stand up for what is right, and never accept consensus for consensus’ sake,” Craft declared.
Craft pointed to a budget item for 2021 to fund a special event on the 20th anniversary of the UN’s anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa, from which the US and Israel withdrew over objections of anti-Zionism.
“Twenty years on, there remains nothing about the Durban Declaration to celebrate or to endorse,” Craft stated. “It is poisoned by antisemitism and anti-Israel bias. It encourages restrictions on the freedom of expression. It exists to divide and discriminate and runs contrary to the laudable goal of combating racism and racial discrimination.”
Craft concluded by stressing that the US vote against the UN budget was a “constructive protest against inequities in the budget is a necessary part of the journey, a part of a journey that builds a better world and to strive for a United Nations that lifts humanity in the 21st Century.”
In a separate statement, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Gilad Erdan, similarly highlighted the Durban event.
“Today we must all speak out against commemorating the disgrace that was the Durban Conference,” Erdan said. “Israel opposes any measure aimed at allocating a budget for this purpose — we all know that such funds will not be used to support human rights, but to spread even more antisemitism and hate towards Israel.”