The United States has voted for the first time against a U.N. resolution in favor of Syria’s possession of the Golan Heights, which it lost after attacking Israel in the 1967 war.
By AP and World Israel News Staff
The United Nations General Assembly’s “decolonization committee” voted 152-2 in favor of a resolution attacking Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, with 14 abstentions.
The U.S. previously abstained on the resolution, but on Friday it voted “no” for the first time, joined by Israel, which has retained control of the area since Syria and three other Arab nations attacked Israel in 1967’s Six-Day War.
The Golan Heights remains a strategic linchpin for Israel, protecting it from the Iranian military, which operates freely in Syria and is sworn to Israel’s destruction, and Islamic terror groups such as ISIS.
The resolution, which passed along with eight other anti-Israel resolutions, declares Israel’s jurisdiction and administration of “the occupied Syrian Golan” to be “null and void.”
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced in advance that the U.S. would vote “no,” calling the resolution “biased against Israel.”
She added, “[T]he 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, which is dominated by nations that are hostile to Israel.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon welcomed the U.S.’s decision, commenting, “The change in the American voting pattern is another testament to the strong cooperation between the two countries. I thank Ambassador Haley for her continued steadfastness with Israel and the truth. It is time for the world to distinguish between those who stabilize the region and those who sow terror.”
The consistent and disproportionate focus of U.N. agencies on condemning Israel has led the Jewish state, and its closest ally, the U.S., to withdraw from bodies such as UNESCO and the U.N. Human Rights Council, the latter of which focuses on Israel at the expense of some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, such as Syria, North Korea, and Iran.