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December 30, 2022 2:47 pm
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UN Schedules Controversial Vote on ‘Occupied’ Territories on Shabbat; Israeli Ambassador Condemns the Move

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avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The United Nations building in New York. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Gilad Erdan slammed the UN General Assembly for scheduling a controversial vote on a resolution that would ask the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on the “occupied” Palestinian territories.

Israel will not attend Friday’s vote because it will take place during a session starting at 6pm, after observance of Shabbat begins in New York City, Israeli officials told The Algemeiner on Friday. The US Mission to the UN will vote against it by proxy on Israel’s behalf.

The resolution, first passed in November by the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee, asks the ICJ to rule on the “prolonged occupation, settlement, and annexation of the Palestinian territory.” The United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic voted against it, while others, including Russia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates — Israel’s Abraham Accords partner — voted for it.

“No international body can decide that the Jewish people are ‘occupiers’ in their own homeland,” Edran said. “Any decision from a judicial body which receives its mandate from the morally bankrupt and politicized UN is completely illegitimate.”

Israeli officials had worked to ensure that Israel would be present for the General Assembly’s vote, but it was continuously delayed, being scheduled and rescheduled several times.

“The decision to hold a vote that deals with Israel on Shabbat is another example of the moral decay of the UN,” Erdan added, arguing that it “prevents Israel’s positions from being heard in a vote whose results are predetermined.”

Friday’s vote continues a series of perceived offenses and bias against Israel.

In July, a member  — Miloon Kothari — of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza (COI) made comments about the undue influence of a so-called “Jewish lobby” on media and questioned whether Israel should be a member of the body at all.

In October, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza (COI) announced that it will investigate the allegation that Israel is an “apartheid state,” with Kothari, saying “apartheid itself is a very useful paradigm” for understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed a resolution that described the founding of Israel in 1948 as a “catastrophe,” adopting the term “Nakba” used by Palestinians in their narrative of the event. The resolution also called for the UN to commemorate the “Nakba” at its headquarters next year, when Israel will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

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