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The United States administration on Friday did not vote along with 151 other nations to condemn Israel’s “occupation” of the Golan Heights, but instead, decided to be one of two nations, along with Israel, to oppose the UN General Assembly vote.
In past years, the United States preferred to abstain in the vote, but now, for a first time, the Trump administration working with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley decided it is time for a shift in position.
The resolution calls Israel’s laws, jurisdiction and administration of “the occupied Syrian Golan” to be “null and void.”
Haley announced in advance that the U.S. would vote “no,” calling the resolution “biased against Israel.”
She added, “Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone.”
The resolution is virtually certain to be adopted by the 193-member General Assembly in December.
At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, 10 Kislev, speaking while reporters were still present, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began his remarks thanking US President Donald Trump, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Mr. Netanyahu said, “We have been talking with our American friends for some time about the present administration’s new policy at the UN. Last Thursday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman updated me that the US had decided to vote against the traditional resolution condemning us for being on the Golan Heights. And this indeed happened. I would like to thank President Trump and Ambassador Haley on this important and just vote that is completely in keeping with my policy – Israel will always remain on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will always remain in our hands…”
The US will no longer abstain when the UN engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel; on Friday, we will vote no.
— US Mission to the UN (@USUN) November 15, 2018
The change in policy may prove vital in the future, as Israel has been working to persuade the United States to accept its decision to annex the Golan Heights as an integral part of the country, an area liberated from Syrian occupation in the June 1967 Six Day War. While the international community views the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, and remains under Israeli occupation, the passing of the Golan Heights Law by Knesset in 1981 made the area an integration portion of the State of Israel as far as Israel is concerned.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)