UK prime minister vows support for Israel in upcoming UN vote

Sunak made the announcement during an annual meeting of the Conservative Friends of Israel while remarking that the UK and Israel have “never been closer.”

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Sunday that his country will oppose a United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution aimed at securing an advisory opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Sunak made the announcement during an annual meeting of the Conservative Friends of Israel while remarking that the UK and Israel have “never been closer.”

“I will therefore oppose any actions which stand to harm the peace process and the two-state solution,” he said. “And that will include the upcoming vote at the UN General Assembly relating to the IJC where I can confirm that the United Kingdom will join with our allies in voting against this divisive action.

The resolution, passed in November by the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee, asks the ICJ to rule on the “prolonged occupation, settlement, and annexation of the Palestinian territory.” The United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic voted against it, while others, including Russia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates voted for it.

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A final vote on the measure in the General Assembly is forthcoming.

Prime Minister Sunak’s comments come two weeks Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s called on countries across the world to dissuade the Palestinian Authority (PA) from attempting to involve the IJC, a move that Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan has said is “decimating the any chances of reconciliation.”

Other UN bodies are seeking ways to oppose Israel.

In October, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza (COI) announced that it will investigate the allegation that Israel is an “apartheid state,” eliciting strong rebuke from pro-Israel organizations.

“We’re focusing on the root cause, which is the occupation, and part of it lies in apartheid,” said Navi Pillay, a COI member said at the time. “We will be coming to that. That’s the beauty of this open-ended mandate. It gives us the scope.”

Commissioner Miloon Kothari, who in July made comments about the undue influence of a so-called “Jewish lobby” on the media, said the COI would “have to look at issues of settler colonialism.”

“Apartheid itself is a very useful paradigm, so we have a slightly different approach, but we will definitely get to it,” he continued.

“Shame on the commission for continuing to appropriate the history of my people and trivializing my family’s pain, under the banner of human rights,” said South African lawyer Olga Meshoe-Washington of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI) in Oct., disputing the commission’s allegations that Israel is an apartheid state.

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“It erases the very real, very lived experience of the brutality of apartheid; a reality that includes millions of Black South Africans fleeing their country and living in exile under fear of persecution purely because of the color of their skin. This is not Israel,” she added.