President Trump’s long-awaited peace plan to end the Arab-Jewish conflict – slated for release by the end of January 2019 – could be indefinitely shelved.
This possibility has emerged following the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) failing to pass an American-sponsored resolution A/73/L.42 (“Resolution”) – condemning Hamas and other militant organisations in Gaza for indiscriminate attacks on Israel’s civilian population.
Protecting all civilian populations from the ravages of conflict and war was turned on its head when the Resolution failed to attract a two-thirds majority vote demanded by UN Arab-member states – rather than a simple majority argued for by America which was lost by a narrow margin of three votes.
The Resolution had sought to condemn Hamas – whose Covenant calls for the destruction of Israel – for the first time since Hamas was created in 1987.
The Resolution served as a barometer to measure whether 134 of the 193 UN members comprising the Group of 77 would be prepared to support one pro-Israel humanitarian resolution being passed to break the cycle of over 700 UNGA anti-Israel resolutions their voting bloc had always guaranteed.
Only 35 possessed the moral integrity to break ranks and support the Resolution, 32 abstained and 15 did not vote.
Trump was publicly humiliated – and Hamas considerably boosted – when the Resolution only mustered 87 votes “for”to 57 “against”– 9 votes less than the 96 required for its successful carriage.
41 of the 57 dissenting votes were cast by Islamic States of whom only 6 – Azerbaijan, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Senegal and Turkey – maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. Solidarity with the Islamic bloc took precedence over humanitarian concerns to protect Israel’s civilian population under daily attack.
The other 16 dissenters were:
Belarus, Bolivia, Botswana, China, Congo, Cuba, Lao, Mauritius, Namibia, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. America would have reasonably expected support for the Resolution from some of the remaining 13.
Egypt and Jordan were the two Arab states Trump would have probably been focusing on to replace the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in negotiations with Israel – after the PLO had made it clear on many occasions that it would not negotiate with Israel on Trump’s proposals under any circumstances.
Egypt and Jordan’s credentials as replacement negotiators were unique – being the last two Arab states to respectively occupy Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) between 1948 and 1967 – the specific territories that Trump’s plan will address and whose sovereignty still remains disputed between Arabs and Jews.
Egypt and Jordan’s dissenting votes are not what Trump would have anticipated from these two major recipients of America’s generous largesse. Their readiness to risk losing substantial foreign aid and American protection rather than assist Trump in getting his Resolution adopted is bad news for Trump. Without securing their prior agreement to negotiate with Israel – Trump’s plan seems destined to never see the light of day.
Other dissenting Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Oman also showed their preparedness to risk losing ongoing American support rather than white-ant the UN Islamic-voting bloc.
Trump’s United Nations ambassador – Nikki Haley – disclosed:
“The president called and he said, ‘Nikki what happened?’ And I told him, and he goes, ‘Who do we need to get upset at? Who do you want me to yell at? Who do we take their money away?’” “I’m not gonna tell you what I told him,” she added.Trump’s revenge on those 57 dissenting states will be but a small consolation prize if his “deal of the century” is prematurely trashed in the White House shredder.
(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article – is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)