NEW YORK, New York - The United States and Israel, along with a handful of tiny island nations, and Justin Trudeau's Canada were abandoned by the rest of the world, in a raft of resolutions that were overwhelmingly passed in the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
In one vote, the Jerusalem resolution numbered A/71/l.22, the world body, in reference to Jerusalem and its holy sites, resolved that "any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures."
Israel and the United States managed to recruit just five other countries to stand with them in opposing the resolution. They were Canada, the Marshall Islands (population 53,158), Micronesia (population 107,154), Nauru (population 9,267) and Palau (population 20,879).
147 member states voted for the resolution, including all European nations such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and France. Even Italy, which has a strong relationship with Israel, voted for the resolution.
Australia abstained, as did Guatemala, despite the Guatamalan president's visit to Israel earlier this week. Panama (population 3.9 million), Papua New Guinea (population 7 million), Paraguay (population 6.8 million) and Vanuatu (population 286,000) also abstained.
In all, six resolutions were tabled, all condemning Israel and supporting the Palestinians. Wednesday's session was held in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is held on November 29 each year. November 29 1947 was the day the United Nations voted to partition Palestine to form two states, one for Israel and the other for the Palestinian people.
The Jerusalem resolution called on Israel to show "respect for the historic status quo at the holy places of Jerusalem." The resolution urged all sides "to work immediately and cooperatively to defuse tensions and halt all provocations, incitement and violence at the holy sites in the City."
Resolutions A/71/l.18 and A/71/l.19, the first in the series, pledge respectively to support the UN's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in its efforts to end the Israeli "occupation," and extend member state's cooperation with and support to the division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat.
Draft resolution A/71/l.20, also adopted on Wednesday, with 153 votes in favor, 7 abstentions and 7 votes against, aims to disseminate information on the Palestinian narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of "Palestine." The resolution also states the need to organize and promote "fact-finding news missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel."
In resolution A/71/l.21, the General Assembly calls for "a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine." It also "calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to cease all of its measures that are contrary to international law and all unilateral actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."
The last resolution adopted by the assembly, resolution A/71/l.8, adopted by a vote of 103 in favor, 6 abstentions and 56 votes against it, demands that Israel withdraw from all of the Golan Heights up to the line of June 1967 and hand it over to Syria.
"Today's resolutions are yet another example of the daily bias Israel's faces in the UN. At the same time that Israel is celebrating the historic decision to re-establish the Jewish state in our homeland, the UN continues to fund organizations and pass resolutions that do nothing to better the lives of the Palestinians," the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told the General Assembly Wednesday.
He went on to say the raft of resolutions "damages the prospect for peace."
"All parties to the conflict have responsibility to end the conflict," he said. "The Palestinians reject every Israeli offer and every plan and respond with waves of violence and terrorism."
Yuval Steinitz, Israel's National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister, on Thursday said the UN voting was a "bad Joke," that bordered on antisemtism.