Israeli analysts say results of UN Jerusalem vote are an improvement

In Israel, key analysts are viewing the cup as half full, as a total of 65 countries chose not to vote in favor of the General Assembly resolution.

By Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

Despite the United States threat to “take names” during the vote in the UN General Assembly condemning Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Washington still lost by a vote of 128 in favor and nine opposed.  Many commentators in the United States viewed the lopsided vote as an insult to US sovereignty and leadership.  In Israel, key analysts are viewing the cup as half full.  They say that while it’s true that 128-9 is an extremely lopsided score, when the numbers are looked at more closely, the result can be viewed as a vast improvement.

The Palestinians are claiming the result proves that the world is nearly unanimous in its objection to the unilateral US decision to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.  In point of fact, in addition to the 9 “no” votes by the US, Israel, Togo, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Honduras, there were also 35 abstentions, and 21 countries absented themselves. A total of 65 countries chose not to vote in favor of the General Assembly resolution.  Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon termed the results “hugely significant” and hailed Israeli diplomacy for the success.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “a growing number of countries refused to participate in this theater of the absurd.”

Netanyahu was particularly pleased that several countries that he recently visited in Africa, Europe and Latin America did not vote in favor of the motion, including Kenya, Mexico, Argentina, Hungary and Australia.  Israeli officials also point out that the results were a slight improvement compared to other recent high-profile anti-Israel votes in the General Assembly.  In November 2012, 138 countries voted in favor of a resolution giving special UN status to the ‘State of Palestine.’  Just about a month ago, 151 countries supported an even stronger anti-Israel resolution in the General Assembly relating to Israeli policy in Jerusalem.

‘Europe is broken’

Former journalist and Italian Member of Parliament Fiamma Nirenstein told World Israel News (WIN) that the vote was a blow for EU Policy Chief Federica Mogherini. Until now, Nirenstein say, Mogherini could count on a Europe bloc to take a united anti-Israel position, and this was one of the very few issues that Europeans could agree upon.

“Europe is broken,” said Nierenstein, adding, “They cannot agree on anything.  They say ‘two states for two people’ and advocate a return to the 1967 borders. But they know that’s a fake.  They know how often the Palestinians rejected offers at the peace talks, they know that the Syrian civil war and Iranian expansionism are far more important issues, yet they stick with the narrative of the poor Palestinians.”

The bad news is that while several of Israel’s “best friends,” including Canada and Australia, abstained, they did not vote against the motion.  In addition, all major world powers, including Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Germany, all voted in favor of the resolution.

On a positive side, anti-Israel European and African blocs can no longer be counted on and are showing serious cracks.  Despite the EU’s uncompromising rejection of Trump’s Jerusalem move, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia all abstained.  On the African continent, Togo voted “no,” while Malawi, Lesotho, Rwanda, Uganda, Lesotho, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan abstained. Kenya was absent.

‘Just another non-binding UN vote’

Middle East analyst Dan Diker told WIN, “The outcome of the vote was known in advance.  The UN is morally obtuse with dictators and tyrants running many nations.  What’s encouraging is the number of countries refusing to vote against Israel.  Israel’s position in Europe and Israel’s position in Africa is improving.  I am most concerned about Western Europe, with some of Israel’s best trading partners still stuck with their traditional anti-Israel instinct.  There is also so much hypocrisy.  Over 100 countries have embassies or missions in Israel.  Every one of them presented their credentials in Jerusalem and not in Tel Aviv.”

“When all is said and done, the UN Jerusalem resolution is just another non-binding UN vote against Israel. But for those in Israel who fear that the country is isolated and alone, the US has done much to change that perception, and many other nations are no longer quite as quick to automatically vote against the Jewish State,” Diker said.