ELNET commends the many countries in Europe who stood against the deplorable United Nations General Assembly resolution to request an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.” Although the advisory opinion will be non-binding, the resolution’s blatant reference to previous anti-Israel UN decisions as well as the flawed legal assumptions it relies on in its query to the Court are foretelling of the type of biased outcome the ICJ is likely to produce.
While the impunity of dictatorships and violators of human decency remains unchallenged, the United Nations once again singled out Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East. In the last year, the General Assembly passed a total of 15 resolutions against Israel, in stark contrast to the 13 resolutions against the rest of the world’s countries combined.
Appropriately, most democracies did not support this resolution, which was ultimately passed by a minority of 87 countries who voted in favor, against 106 countries who either voted to oppose the resolution, abstained, or were absent. Nearly half of those who supported the resolution are themselves authoritarian regimes, many of which regularly violate human rights and international law.
Among the countries in Europe, those who voted against the resolution include: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
Those who abstained include: Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
As their votes make clear, this resolution is yet another cynical attempt to highjack international forums, single out Israel, and distort international law. It can only embolden those who revert to violence and terror over seeking a true and lasting peace.