Thursday, July 13, 2006

US Blocks UN Resolution on Israel

The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, announced today that the US had vetoed a Qatar resolution that condemned Israel for the current violence in Gaza.

From the State Department site:

The United States used its veto July 13 to stop a Qatar-sponsored resolution that condemned the Israeli military operation, calling it a disproportionate use of force. The resolution received 10 votes in favor; Denmark, Peru, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom abstained.

The United States vetoed a similar resolution on Israeli operations in Gaza in October 2004.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton called the text "unbalanced" in that it placed demands on one side of the Middle East conflict and not the other. He added that it would exacerbate tensions in the region and was "untimely" and "outmoded" because it did not take into account current operations on the Israeli-Lebanese border or U.N. efforts.

"Passage would have undermined the credibility of the Security Council, which itself must be seen by both sides as an honest broker in the Middle East conflict," Bolton told the council. The issue for the United States is whether action by the council makes a peaceful solution in the Middle East more or less likely, "not simply whether or not the council seems to be 'engaged.'"

If Bolton wants people to be 'engaged' in the peace process, maybe he should talk to Bush about getting off his ass and actually doing something instead of pissing on the road map while he's busy eating boar in Germany.

Now, what exactly is wrong with the resolution anyway?

The resolution condemned both Israeli and Palestinian actions and called on the Palestinian Authority to take immediate and sustained action to bring an end to violence, including the firing of rockets into Israel.

It also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all detained Palestinian ministers, legislators and other officials, and emphasized the need to preserve the institutions of the Palestinian Authority.


Bolton criticized the resolution for not taking into account Hizballah attacks along the blue line between Israel and Lebanon and ignoring Hamas and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors.

Bolton expected a resolution to take everything that's happened in the last 24 hours into account too? That's unrealistic. Everybody knows these things take time and the UN has an emergency meeting scheduled for Friday to discuss the current Israel/Lebanon war. Bolton simply grabbed the opportunity handed to him via the latest chaos to refuse to condemn Israel. It's that simple.

The UN has a long history of resolutions aimed at Israel of which the country has ignored many. Yet, when an 'enemy' of the US violates resolutions, they are quickly called out on the carpet. Instead, today, Bush offered a mere slap on Israel's hand when he spoke publicly about the current situation.

That is not the way to peace.

Eight of the last nine vetoes in the council have been cast by the United States. Of those, seven concerned the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Update: It's interesting to note that Senators Boxer(D) and Hagel(R), as well as other experts interviewed by Larry King this evening, are suggesting that Colin Powell be sent to the Middle East to mediate this dispute. It seems they don't have much faith in Condi.

Update: The UN Security Council met on Friday to discuss the Israel/Lebanon situation. Lebanon called for a ceasefire. Israel refused.

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