December 9, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Blocks UN Ceasefire Resolution

December 9, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Blocks UN Ceasefire Resolution

Latest Developments

The United States vetoed a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution sponsored by the United Arab Emirates on December 8 that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to Israel’s counterterrorism campaign to dismantle Hamas in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the veto in a video statement on December 9, adding that “other countries too need to understand that it is impossible to support the elimination of Hamas on one hand, and on the other hand call for the halting of the war, which would prevent the elimination of Hamas.”

The vote comes in the wake of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since 1971 on December 6. Invoking the article allows Guterres to raise concerns about threats to international peace and security directly with the Security Council. Notably, Guterres did not invoke Article 99 in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 massacre, nor has he invoked the article in the wake of multiple massacres in Sudan or for Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. Previous secretaries-general did not invoke the article during the civil wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya, or other conflicts. 

Expert Analysis

“The UN has been a bastion of anti-Israel hatred for decades. Guterres and UN Women — a UN organization focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women — let weeks pass before even mentioning the sexual atrocities committed against Israeli women. At the UN, dictatorships set their agenda, and democracies are under siege. Those who did not oppose this resolution are supporting Hamas, which is responsible with its terror patron in Iran for the deaths of civilians on both sides.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The UN rose from the ashes of the Holocaust with a promise of ‘Never Again.’ ‘Again’ came on October 7, and this secretary-general did nothing. Every permanent member of the Security Council that opposes Hamas has a moral obligation to veto this resolution.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Guterres’s Worsening Statements

Guterres condemned Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, which killed 1,200 Israelis, but since then, has been far more critical of Israel’s response. On October 25, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan called for Guterres’s resignation after Guterres said that Hamas’s attack “did not happen in a vacuum,” apportioning blame to the attack’s victim, Israel. Guterres waited 55 days after the attack to call on the UN to investigate accounts of sexual violence on Israeli women by Hamas terrorists.

UN Delays Acknowledging Hamas’s Atrocities

UN Women, an agency tasked with promoting women’s rights, took 57 days to call out Hamas’s sexual violence, releasing a statement on December 1 that expressed alarm at “the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks” and called for an investigation.

United Nations’ Bigotry Towards Israel: UNRWA Anti-semitism Poisons Palestinian Youth,” by Jonathan Schanzer

10 Things to Know About the UN and Hamas,” FDD Insight

The unmaking of the United Nations,” by Clifford May


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