SKIP ASH, ACLJ
According to the United Nations Charter, one of the primary purposes of the U.N. is to
maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace . . . .
Yet, as discussed below, this no longer seems to be the case.
Recently, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley proposed a U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) resolution which called out Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other like-minded militant groups for their ongoing acts of terror directed against Israel. In no uncertain terms, the resolution condemned “Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk”, and demanded that Hamas and other militant groups “cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices . . .” intended to destroy crops by starting fires.
One would think, well at least hope, that there would be enough votes to adopt such a resolution. Who could oppose a resolution that condemns terrorism? Unfortunately, over half of all U.N. member states failed to take a stand against using terror to attack civilians. The number of states opposing the resolution plus the number of states too morally bankrupt to even take a stand (they abstained) was greater than the number of states that supported the resolution. That’s unconscionable and reveals how morally bankrupt the U.N. has become.
As we explained at the time:
The U.N. was poised to do something it has never done, condemn the terrorist group Hamas for firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
Yet, at the last minute, the enemies of freedom pulled an outrageous stunt requiring a 2/3 vote to pass the resolution, instead of the normal [simple] majority.
While the resolution did in fact get [more votes for than against it] (87 in favor of condemning Hamas [vs.] 57 opposing condemning Hamas . . .), it fell far short of the . . . required 2/3 majority in the U.N. General Assembly. Were it not for the absurd 2/3 requirement – a poison pill proposed at the last minute by Kuwait – this vote would have passed.
Yet, equally as troubling was the fact that 33 states were too morally bankrupt to even take a stand one way or the other. Instead, they abstained. When one considers the number of states actively opposing the resolution (57) plus the number too morally obtuse to acknowledge the evil of terrorist attacks on civilians (33) exceeds the number of states that voted in favor of the resolution (87), you begin to realize what a moral cesspool the U.N. has become.
As we said, “This is an outrageous betrayal of Israel and all those innocent civilians who have been the victims of Hamas terror. It was a cowardly stunt to prop up a terrorist entity.”
In response to its failed adoption, we took action and sent a formal legal demand to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres encouraging the Secretary-General to stand up and be counted.
Specifically, we urged the UN Secretary-General to take a stand
against groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, groups which openly and notoriously commit acts of terror aimed at civilians, which shamelessly flout the rule of law with impunity, which publicly and repeatedly call for the destruction of a Member State of the United Nations, and which openly mock the principles underlying the very existence of the United Nations.
We reminded the U.N. Secretary-General “that to remain silent in the face of such open and notorious evil and defiance of international norms of behaviour is to abdicate one of the solemn responsibilities of your high office.”
The ACLJ strongly supports Ambassador Haley’s resolution. It is deeply troubling that the UNGA lacked the courage and moral clarity to adopt this resolution. One wonders whether the U.N. can ever be redeemed—or is even worth redeeming. Right now, it is a morally bankrupt institution that spews hatred against the State of Israel and seemingly pursues evil as its first impulse.
In light of this recent anti-Israel stance by far too many UNGA Members, the ACLJ will continue to stand for the rule of law and for the right of the State of Israel to protect its citizens from Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
Robert W. “Skip” Ash is a Senior Counsel at the ACLJ and at the ECLJ. Ash heads the ACLJ’s national security practice. As such, he deals daily with legal issues concerning Believers in the U.S. Armed Forces, with issues regarding the Law of Armed Conflict worldwide, with issues before the International Criminal Court, with issues before the United Nations and its agencies, and with issues before other international courts in Europe. Ash is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, who served 22 years on active duty as a U.S. Army officer. His service included serving as NATO desk officer in the War Plans division of the Army Staff as well as a military strategist for the Secretary of Defense in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Plans in the Pentagon. Ash is also one of the founders of the Centre for the Study of Law & Public Policy at Oxford. He currently serves as Secretary of the Centre at Oxford. A graduate of Regent University School of Law, Ash has also served as a member of the faculties of the School of Law and the Robertson School of Government at Regent University where he taught courses on national security law, public international law, comparative law, First Amendment law, business associations, and legal research and writing.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.