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This is how many times the US has used its veto for Israel's sake Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

This is how many times the US has used its veto for Israel's sake

US envoy Nikki Haley said the latest proposal was an "insult" [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 December, 2017

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As Israel's biggest ally, the US has used its UN Security Council veto dozens of times to protect the Jewish state from resolutions condemning illegal settlements to violence against Palestinians.
The US on Monday vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution which called on the UN to reject President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv, effectively ignoring Palestinian claims on the city.

With the US being Israel's biggest ally, the veto cast by US Ambassador Nikki Haley was entirely expected - it was the 43rd time the US had used its veto power to throw out a resolution in order to protect Israel.

Monday's measure, brought by Egypt, asserted that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem "have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded".

But Haley told the council: "The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy," adding, "What we witnessed here today in the Security Council is an insult. It won't be forgotten."

Yet all 14 other Security Council members backed the measure including key US allies: the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine.

The history

The first veto in 1972 shot down a resolution expressing deep concern at "the deteriorating situation in the Middle East" and was aimed at Israeli aggression on the Lebanese border.

Similar resolutions were also vetoed by the US in the intervening years.

In 1975, when civil war broke out in Lebanon, resolution S/11898 called on Israel "to desist forthwith from all military attacks against Lebanon". The US, again, was the only veto.

The year 1982 saw the most American vetos in favour of Israel.

As Israeli aggression against Lebanon reached its peak, America torpedoed seven resolutions, including imposing sanctions on Israel for annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, condemning Israel in an assassination attempt on Nablus Mayor Bassam Shakaa, and two drafts, one from Spain and another from France condemning Israel's invasion of Lebanon.

In 1985, 1986, and 1988, the US vetoed similar resolutions. The Lebanese civil war ended in 1990, but Israel did not withdraw from the south of the country until 2000.

In 1983, the US vetoed a draft resolution condemning the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon.

The US has also protected Israel when draft resolutions condemned the violations of the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, confiscation of Palestinian land, and Israel's violent and repressive reprisals against Palestinians.

The construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank has also drawn UN Security Council action - but the US has always stopped resolutions from being approved, including two draft proposals put forward in March 1997.

Draft resolutions have also sought to condemn Israel for the killing of several United Nations personnel by Israeli forces, as well as the deliberate destruction of a World Food Program warehouse in occupied Palestinian territory.

Obama's abstention

Monday's proposed resolution came almost exactly one year after UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which criticised Israel for the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, calling them "a flagrant violation under international law".

In the vote, taken in the final days of the Obama administration, 14 of the 15 Security Council members voted in favour of the resolution; the United States abstained, allowing it to pass.

The Obama administration defended its break from the longstanding policy of shielding its closest Middle Eastern ally by arguing that settlements undermine any potential path to a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Meanwhile Israel suspended around $6 million in funding to the United Nations in protest.

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