With all of the Washington-led developments in the Middle East, the topic of this posting is particularly pertinent. On an annual basis, the U.S. Department of State is required to submit a report summarizing the voting record in the United Nations and how the votes coincide with the U.S. views on global geopolitics. Under Public Law 108-447 dated December 8, 2004, we find the following:
“REPORT MODIFICATION.—Section 406(b)(4) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 (Public Law 101–246; 22 U.S.C. 2414a(b)(4)) is amended by inserting after ‘‘United States’’ the following: ‘‘, including a separate listing of all plenary votes cast by member countries of the United Nations in the General Assembly on resolutions specifically related to Israel that are opposed by the United States’’
As such, the Voting Practices in the United Nations for 2017 contains the following:
2.) the voting coincidence percentages with the United States on the opposed resolutions in alphabetical order.
The section of the report covering UN votes on Israel-related resolutions opens as follows:
“These annual General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel are repetitive, disproportionate, and one-sided. Israel is repeatedly singled out for criticism, while the resolutions do not fully acknowledge that all parties to the conflict bear direct responsibility for ending it.”
Out of 193 UN member states, only 16 nations voted at least once against an Israel-related resolution (i.e voted against a resolution that would have had negative repercussions for Israel). Here is a list of the 16 nations and the number of times that a country voted against one of the 21 Israel-related resolutions that were brought to the floor of the United Nations:
As you can see, other than Germany, France and the United Nations, there aren’t a lot of “heavy hitters” when it comes to voting with the United States and its best friend in the Middle East.
Here are screen captures showing the entire list and descriptions of Israel-related votes that took place during 2017:
“Jerusalem – A/RES/72/17 dated November 30, 2017
The General Assembly has adopted a resolution concerning Jerusalem every year since 1967. The United States believes that the final status of Jerusalem should be resolved by the parties to the conflict as part of a final, permanent status resolution that also includes the status of borders, refugees, and settlements.”
Here is a listing of the nations voting against this resolution: United States of America, Canada, Micronesia (Federated States of), Israel, Marshall Islands, and Nauru. Out of the total membership of the United Nations General Assembly, 151 voted in favour of the resolution, 6 voted against and 9 abstained.
Not only does the Department of State track which nations voted against resolutions involving the State of Israel, it uses a “voting coincidence” measure which compares how the United States and each member nation vote against Israel-related measures. According to the report, the methodology for obtaining the “voting coincidence” is comparing how the United States and the listed country voted. Votes are placed into one of four categories; same, opposite, partial, and absent. “Same” is the total number of times the United States and the listed country voted together. “Opposite” is the total number of times the United States and the listed country voted counter to each other. As part of this year’s updated methodology, a new column was included. “Partial” is the number of times the United States and the listed country were partially aligned (one country, but not both, abstained on a resolution). “Absent” is the number of times the listed country did not vote. The “Voting Coincidence” with the United States is calculated by adding one point for every ‘same’ vote, zero points for every ‘opposite’ vote, and one-half point for every ‘partial’ vote.
With that background, let’s look at the voting coincidence measures for a few key member nations:
Afghanistan – 5 percent
Australia – 57 percent
Canada – 98 percent
China – 5 percent
Cuba – 5 percent
France – 21 percent
Germany – 21 percent
India – 7 percent
Iran – 5 percent
Iraq – 5 percent
Japan – 17 percent
Korea (North) – 5 percent
Korea (South) – 17 percent
Libya – 5 percent
Russia – 12 percent
Saudi Arabia – 5 percent
United Kingdom – 24 percent
Other than Canada and a few select tiny nations, the United States vision of the Middle East and, in particular, Israel, is not widely shared globally, leaving the United States as one of the very few nations that has handed Israel a blank cheque to do what it wants in its corner of the Middle East. From the United Nations voting records on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its continued establishment of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, it’s quite clear that Israel’s agenda has met with widespread condemnation by the member states of the United Nations.
This posting begs this video of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a closer:
When asked if he was concerned about what the world, especially the United States would say about Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians, he states that:
“America is something that you can easily maneuver and move in the right direction.“
America’s role as Israel’s protector in the United Nations proves that Bibi was right.
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