Haley Pushes Ahead With First-Ever UN Resolution Condemning Hamas

By Patrick Goodenough | December 3, 2018 | 4:29 AM EST

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley takes part in a U.N. Security Council session last month. (Screen capture: U.N. Webcast)

(CNSNews.com) – Weeks before she leaves her post at the U.N., Ambassador Nikki Haley is driving a concerted push to have the world body, for the first time ever, adopt a resolution condemning Hamas by name.

The chances of passage through the General Assembly – which on Friday alone adopted six separate resolutions condemning Israel – look slim, despite an agreement by the 28-member European Union to support the U.S.-drafted measure.

Even though it targets its ostensible rival Fatah, the Palestinian faction led by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, opposes the Hamas resolution.

Adoption requires 97 votes in the 193-member UNGA, and the so-called “non-aligned” nations which comprise a majority in the assembly customarily follow the Palestinians’ lead in such votes.

A vote is expected this week.

“Each country will be asked to vote for or against the activities of Hamas, along with other militant groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” the U.S. Mission said in a statement. “If the U.N. cannot bring itself to adopt this resolution, then it has no business being involved in peace discussions.”

The text condemns Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, inciting violence, and for diverting resources for terror activities including the building of tunnels to infiltrate Israel.

It demands that Hamas, PIJ, and “other militant actors” stop all provocations and violence, and voices support for the P.A. to reassume control over the Gaza Strip. (Hamas seized control of Gaza in violent clashes with Fatah in 2007, a year after winning legislative elections there. Since then the P.A.’s authority has been limited to parts of the West Bank)

The preamble reaffirms support for Israeli-Palestinian peace, “bearing in mind relevant U.N. resolutions,” and says violence and incitement “only serve to erode trust and hinder efforts to bring about a peaceful solution.”

Queries sent to the Palestinian observer mission in New York brought no response by press time, but a senior Fatah official confirmed at the weekend that the organization opposes the resolution.

Despite Hamas’ actions to undermine the P.A., “we nevertheless totally reject American-Israeli efforts to brand Hamas with terrorism at the U.N. and we will fight to defeat this resolution,” said spokesman Usama Qawasmi.

The official P.A. news agency WAFA quoted Qawasmi as saying the world should instead condemn Israel – “the true face of state-sponsored terrorism.”

In a photo posted on the website of Hezbollah's TV station, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh holds a child dressed in the uniform of the terrorist group’s so-called military win, Izzedin al-Qassam. (Photo: Al-Manar)

For his part, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh sent a letter to UNGA president María Fernanda Espinosa, condemning the “miserable” U.S. initiative which he said was designed to “delegitimize” Palestinian “resistance.”

Haniyeh said the Palestinians had the right under international law “to resist the occupation, by all available means, including armed resistance.”

Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon commented of the letter, “A terrorist organization going to the U.N. for help is like a serial killer asking the police for assistance.”

Israel’s foreign ministry is urging U.N. member-states to speak out against Hamas’ terrorism, which over recent decades has included suicide bombing, shooting, stabbing and rocket attacks.

According to the ministry, more than 1,750 Israelis have been killed, and many more wounded, in terror attacks since 1987, the year Hamas was established. Hamas and PIJ are held responsible for most of them.

‘Pretty much an ordinary day at the U.N.’

In its statement highlighting its expectation of “each country” with regard to its draft resolution, the U.S. Mission made clear the administration is once again challenging individual member-states to stand up and be counted – an unpopular approach in an institution that usually favors “consensus” over awkward recorded votes.

Haley explained the thinking in a speech last summer, saying while there is virtue in working for consensus at times, the principle is often taken too far.

The U.S., she said, “has no moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong; on the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone.”

The stance was demonstrated on Friday, when the U.S. and Israel were joined by a handful of allies in opposing six resolutions critical of Israel. All passed by large margins.

Apart from U.S. and Israel, all six measures were opposed by Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru.

The remaining “no” votes came from Kiribati (opposed 4 of the 6 resolutions); Guatemala (3 resolutions), Solomon Islands (2 resolutions); and Britain, Honduras, Hungary, Moldova and Palau (1 resolution each).

The U.S. Mission described the passage of six Israel-bashing texts as “pretty much an ordinary day at the U.N.”

By year’s end, the UNGA is expected to have adopted a total of 20 resolutions condemning Israel.

Also by the end of the year, the UNGA will have passed just six country-specific resolutions covering the rest of the U.N. membership combined – one each relating to human rights in North Korea, Burma, Iran, Syria and Russian-occupied Crimea, and the measure condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba.


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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow