The vote against Israel in the Security Council – symbolic only

Yesterday (Monday), an event occurred such as which has not happened since the outbreak of the war, and more precisely since the end of Obama’s term in 2016: The United States avoided vetoing a call against Israel in the UN Security Council, and an official resolution calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Gaza passed by a majority of 14 against one abstention (the United States). This is a diplomatic blow for Israel, which indicates a certain crack with the Americans; however, it is not an international “Judgement Day”, and we shall detail:

Firstly, let’s explain the setting: The United Nations Security Council is the executive body of the United Nations, which has the power to exercise force, sanctions, etc. The Security Council has 15 members, including 10 who change every two years, and 5 permanent members with veto power – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France (the winners of World War II who established the organization). Since resolutions are made at the United Nations on a numerical basis, the United Nations will act more against countries with a large number of enemies than against countries that commit internal crimes. It is more common for the United Nations to pass calls or resolutions against Israel, or Iran, than against Ethiopia (despite the horrific acts taking place there in recent years), for example.

The United States is often used as a “defender” against executive decisions about Israel, and uses its veto power in the council to block their acceptance. This time, the United States avoided a symbolic decision calling for a cease-fire by the end of Ramadan (in two weeks). In this way, the United States demonstrates its desire to change the conduct of the war with Israel, but without any repercussions on the ground (except for increasing international pressure on Israel, and an increase in Hamas’ self-confidence – as demonstrated by the rejection of the American compromise in the negotiations to release the hostages yesterday).

In addition, the United States made clear after the Security Council abstention that its commitment to Israel and its attitude toward the war had not changed. Even after the Israeli response – the cancellation of the political delegation that was planned to discuss the action in Rafah – the US made it clear that Israeli government officials ‘may be trying to create a diplomatic crisis’ – meaning, that for the US, this is not a crisis at the moment. The reactions against the American move were very sharp, both from Prime Minister Netanyahu, the UN Ambassador Erdan, Defence Minister Galant and other senior officials; but at this stage it is better not to “break up” when it comes to our relationship with the US, which is a central factor in every aspect for Israel.

To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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