Holiday Spirit at the UN
by Mickey Z.

December 11, 2003

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While this is allegedly the time of year when humans allegedly show more kindness, you can always count on god's country and the Holy Land to keep things in cynical perspective. Over the past 25 years, the United States and Israel have a UN voting record in the month of December that effectively demonstrates their political philosophies and firmly establishes them as the two most hypocritical nations on the planet.

* December 15, 1978: 119 member-states endorse United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 33/75, which calls upon the Security Council to "take all necessary measures" to ensure that the United Nations decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security are observed. The US and Israel cast the only votes against. December 18, 1978: 110 member-states endorse UNGA Res. 33/110, calling for steps to improve the living conditions of Palestinians. The US and Israel cast the only votes against.

A major chunk (but not all) of Ward Churchill's crucial new book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of US Imperial Arrogance and Criminality, is a comprehensive list of the US voting record, re: UN resolutions. The list falls under the heading of "A Government of Laws?" and it's instructive to recognize how often the only two nations voting "no" on a given resolution are Israel and the US...especially during the so-called holiday season.

* Dec. 12, 1979: 111 member-states endorse UNGA Res. 34/90A, calling upon Israel to desist from specified human rights violations vis-ŕ-vis Palestinians. The US and Israel cast the only votes against. Dec. 14, 1979: 104 member-states endorse UNGA Res. 34/100, opposing internal or external intervention by any country in the legitimate affairs of another state. The US and Israel cast the only votes against.

The voting record is far too extensive to list here but in 1980, the US and Israel voted against the condemning of Israeli policy resulting in abysmal living conditions for the Palestinians. A year later, it was UNGA Res. 36/98, demanding that Israel comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by renouncing possession of nuclear weapons. In December 1985, the US and Israel cast "no" votes against resolutions that deplored the human rights situation in El Salvador, and called for measures to be taken to combat the spread of nazi, fascist, and neofascist activities.

A favorite of mine occurred on Dec. 7, 1987 when only the US and Israel opposed a resolution calling for measures to prevent international terrorism and a comprehensive study of its root causes to help "define terrorism in such a way as to distinguish it from legitimate wars of national liberation." That vote was 153-2. In the 16 years since that tell-tale vote, the US and Israel have stood in holiday solidarity to oppose resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa (1988), calling for a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (1990), the adoption of alternative approaches by the UN in "its efforts to further universal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms" (1991), reiterating the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people (1994), condemning Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied territories (1997), and reaffirming the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV to Israeli policies in the occupied territories (1999).

While this is just a tiny fraction of US/Israeli behavior at the UN, on December 18, 2002, a interesting new team debuted when 175 member-states endorsed UNGA Res. 57/190 affirming "the rights of the child."

The only two opposing votes were by the United States and Somalia.

A merry December to all...

Mickey Z. is the author of The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet (www.murderingofmyyears.com) and an editor at Wide Angle (www.wideangleny.com).  He can be reached at: mzx2@earthlink.net.


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