US hardens pro-Israel stance at UN, votes against resolution on Golan Heights

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The U.S. on Friday voted towards an annual decision condemning the “occupation” of the Golan Heights — a change from the U.S. resolution to abstain in 2017– and ripped into the physique’s alleged anti-Israel bias, a part of an more and more pro-Israel stance below the Trump administration.

The decision handed 151-2 (with 14 abstentions) and got here as a part of a broader bundle of anti-Israel resolutions that handed a marathon Basic Meeting committee listening to on Friday morning. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the course of the 1967 battle within the area and later annexed it. The transfer has been repeatedly condemned by the U.N.

The non-binding decision, sponsored by international locations together with Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Venezuela, describes Israel’s presence as an unlawful occupation and calls on Israel “to desist from altering the bodily character, demographic composition, institutional construction and authorized standing of the occupied Syrian Golan and particularly to desist from the institution of settlements.”

The U.S. voted to abstain final 12 months, however this 12 months voted no, together with Israel, and cited the decision’s anti-Israel bias, the militarization of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian disaster as causes for the change within the vote.

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U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday known as the decision “ineffective” and mentioned if it ever made sense “it certainly doesn’t right this moment” amid the atrocities by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The decision is plainly biased towards Israel. Additional, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit show its lack of health to manipulate anybody,” she mentioned in an announcement. The harmful affect of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents main threats to worldwide safety. ISIS and different terrorist teams stay in Syria. And this decision does nothing to deliver any events nearer to a peace settlement. The US will vote no.”

U.S. Political Advisor Samantha Sutton, in remarks to the committee on Friday, mentioned that U.N. resolutions often blame Israel for issues within the area, with out mentioning terrorist acts by Hamas. She additionally urged international locations to deal with problems with real urgency within the area fairly than “grandstanding towards Israel.”

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon welcomed the U.S. transfer and known as it “one other testomony to the sturdy cooperation between the 2 international locations.”

“I thank Ambassador Haley for her continued steadfastness with Israel and the reality. It’s time for the world to differentiate between those that stabilize the area and people who sow terror,” he mentioned in an announcement Thursday forward of the vote.

On Friday, Dannon was defiant and instructed the committee that Israel is not going to withdraw from the realm: “Israel is not going to withdraw from the Golan Heights, it’s time the worldwide group accepts it.”

The U.S. doesn’t acknowledge Israel’s declare to the territory however U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman mentioned in September that he couldn’t think about a scenario the place it’s returned to Syria.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, mentioned Friday that “it’s previous time to acknowledge the truth of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which ought to by no means come below the management of the Iran-backed Assad regime.”

Syria in the meantime hailed the vote and mentioned the U.N. had despatched a message that Israel was in “violation of the provisions of the [U.N.] Constitution and of worldwide legislation.”

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The U.S. has been more and more vocal on the U.N. in backing its closest ally within the Center East, and pushing again towards anti-Israel bias on the U.N. This 12 months, the U.S. withdrew from the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, partially due to the anti-Israel bias, and has additionally frozen funding for the U.N. Palestinian refugee physique (UNRWA).

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