For the first time ever, the United States on Friday intended to vote against an annual UN resolution condemning Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
Ever since Israel seized control of the strategic plateau on the 1967 Six Day War, the US has abstained when the resolution titled “The Occupied Syrian Golan” was brought to a vote. While the resolution is non-binding, the annual ritual has served as an international censure of Israel’s decision in the early 1980s to bring the Golan under its sovereignty.
In one of her final major actions before resigning her post, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was set to proudly and officially change the American position on the matter by voting “no” on the resolution.
And, while Haley’s vote won’t keep the resolution from passing, it will certainly upset the balance of international diplomacy vis-a-vis the Israeli-Arab conflict by signaling that the US now accepts the Jewish state’s maintaining long-term control over the Golan.
In a statement announcing the shift, Haley pointed out that with Syria in tatters, and its rulers having proved themselves to be dangerous war criminals, “if this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today.”
In thanking Haley, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said it was high time for the rest of the world to join Trump’s America in distinguishing “between those who stabilize the region and those who sow terror.” Much the same argument has been made for maintaining Israeli security control, if not sovereignty, over the so-called “Palestinian occupied territories.