ZOA Thanks President Obama for Opposing United Nations Statehood Vote
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) thanks the Obama Administration for voting last week against the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution to accept ‘Palestine’ as a non-member state of the U.N. At the same time, the ZOA has expressed concern that the Obama Administration exerted virtually no effort to bring U.S. allies, including the 27 states of the European Union (EU), as well as allies in Asia and South America, to oppose this anti-Israel resolution which legitimizes the Fatah and Hamas anti-peace, anti-Israel and pro-terror regimes.
It also violates the 1995 Oslo II agreement, Article 31.7 of which states, “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.” The ZOA is also concerned that the U.S. did not publicly threaten to withhold U.S. funding for the UN or the Palestinian Authority (PA) if this resolution passed. (U.S. law requires that UN bodies that admit the PA as a state be defunded).
The Palestinian non-member state resolution was approved by a vote of 138 to 9 with 41 abstentions. Many U.S. allies, including 26 of the 27 states within the European Union (EU) and all of the Asian and South American states, did not oppose the resolution, as would normally happen when an anti-Israel resolution comes to the floor.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We thank President Obama for standing with truth, justice, logic, law and peace by opposing the Palestinian non-member statehood vote last week in the United Nations General Assembly. The United States has a proud record of opposing absurd and biased votes against Israel, of which this is the latest example.
“At the same time, the ZOA is concerned that the United States did not lobby to persuade U.S. allies to likewise oppose this vote. Only days before last week’s vote, I was personally informed by various senior officials from several countries that the U.S. delegation to the U.N. had not taken any serious action of which they were aware to persuade its allies to oppose this vote.
“This is most unusual. Normally, when anti-Israel UN resolutions emerge, the U.S. has not only opposes such votes but works to ensure that as many of its allies join it in doing so. After all, the U.S. cannot be pleased when its allies do not support its position. The fact that only one of the 27 EU countries and no Asian or South American countries voted in favor of Israel is a clear indication that the U.S. did not use its prestige and influence to persuade its allies to oppose this resolution.
“As former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton wrote last year, when the PLO tried in 1988 to appear as ‘Palestine’ in the UN and other international bodies and won great support for this from Third World dictatorships and Europe’s response was ‘weak … Faced with the near certainty of defeat, Secretary of State James Baker warned publicly: “I will recommend to the President that the United States make no further contributions, voluntary or assessed, to any international organization which makes any changes in the PLO’s status as an observer organization.” No politician of Mr. Baker’s skill would publicize his proposals unless he knew that the president would accept them, and this reality was rapidly understood internationally. Although defeating the PLO campaign required further maneuvering, Mr. Baker’s statement was the death knell of the “statehood” push.’
“There was no efforts to persuade our allies, like Germany or Australia, which were originally poised to oppose the resolution but in the end chose to abstain; there was no public statement that the U.S. would summarily defund the world body for taking such steps; and, of course, there were no further steps taken to give weight to such a declaration.”
Filed Under: Politics
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