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The U.N. Voting Record of Susan Rice on Palestinian Rights, 2009–2010

On Friday, February 18, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution which, upon condemning Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory, had the unanimous support of the 14 other Security Council members and over one hundred state sponsors. Although Rice’s veto in this instance was certainly outrageous, she is no stranger to voting contrary to U.S. obligations under international law, in support of Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, and against the clear consensus of U.N. member states, since, as U.S. ambassador, she (or her office) has consistently voted against huge majorities in the U.N. General Assembly seeking to reaffirm Palestinian rights. 

In December 2009, the U.N. General Assembly passed 18 resolutions on “The Question of Palestine” which, among other things: reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people over their natural resources, including land and water; reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and their independent State of Palestine; reaffirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; and reaffirmed that Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development. The United States under President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice, voted against each of these resolutions. Overall, Obama, Clinton, and Rice, by voting with Israel, voted against 16 of 18 General Assembly resolutions in 2009, which were otherwise approved by an overwhelming majority of U.N. member states. (The U.S. abstained on two of the 18 resolutions in 2009.)

Likewise, in 2010, the General Assembly passed 16 resolutions concerning The Question of Palestine, including those reaffirming Palestinian sovereignty over their own natural resources, the right of Palestinian self-determination to an independent state, the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to Israel’s occupation, and the illegality of Israel’s settlements under the Fourth Geneva Convention. As in 2009, Obama, Clinton, and Rice voted against these resolutions, and overall voted against 14 of 16 General Assembly resolutions on Palestine in 2010, all of which passed with a huge majority of votes. (The U.S. abstained on two of the 16 resolutions in 2010.)

Thus, Rice and her bosses, Obama and Clinton, have supported not a single General Assembly resolution on The Question of Palestine, and voted with Israel on 30 of the 34 resolutions over the two-year period. Israel—the close U.S. voting partner—was the only U.N. member state to reject all 34 such General Assembly resolutions in 2009 and 2010, the record of which appears below. Given this sweeping and near total denial of Palestinian right under international law, it is hardly credible that the United States under President Obama (like previous presidents with similar U.N. voting records) would serve as an impartial mediator of the Israel-Palestine “peace process.”  

  

2009

A/Res/64/185, December 21, 2009:  On reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water:

Vote: 165 to 8 (with seven abstentions). The eight votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/150, December 18, 2009: On reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine:

Vote: 176 to 6 (with three abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/87, December 10, 2009: On calling upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA):

Vote: 168 to 1 (with seven abstentions). The vote in opposition: Israel (U.S. abstained).

 

A/Res/64/88, December 10, 2009: On reaffirming the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967:

Vote: 166 to 7 (with four abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/64/89, December 10, 2009: On reaffirming that the effective functioning of UNRWA remains essential in all fields of operation:

Vote: 167 to 6 (with four abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/90, December 10, 2009: On reaffirming that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice:

Vote: 168 to 6 (with three abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/91, December 10, 2009: On deploring those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories:

Vote: 92 to 9 (with 74 abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/64/92, December 10, 2009: On reaffirming that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967:

Vote: 168 to 6 (with four abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau. 

 

A/Res/64/93, December 10, 2009: On reaffirming that the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development:

Vote: 167 to 7 (with three abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/64/94, December 10, 2009: On reiterating that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity:

Vote: 162 to 9 (with five abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/64/95, December 10, 2009: On calling upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision:

Vote: 166 to 1 (with eleven abstentions). The vote in opposition: Israel (U.S. abstaining).

 

A/Res/64/16, December 2, 2009: On expressing its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly, and takes note of its annual report, including the conclusions and valuable recommendations contained in chapter VII thereof:

Vote: 109 to 8 (with 55 abstentions). The eight votes in oppositions: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/17, December 2, 2009: On noting appreciation for the Division for Palestinian Rights of the General Secretariat and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

Vote: 112 to 9 (with 54 abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/18, December 2, 2009: About the Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the General Secretariat:

Vote: 162 to 8 (with five abstentions). The eight votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/19, December 2, 2009: On reaffirming the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects, and of intensifying all efforts towards that end:

Vote: 164 to 7 (with four abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/20, December 2, 2009: On reiterating its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures:

Vote: 163 to 7 (with five abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/64/21, December 2, 2009: On declaring that the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in resolution 497 (1981), and calls upon Israel to rescind it:

Vote: 116 to 7 (with 51 abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/10, November 5, 2009: On requesting the Secretary-General to transmit the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report) to the Security Council:

Vote: 114 to 18 (with 44 abstentions). The eighteen votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine.

 

2010

A/Res/65/100, December 10, 2010: On reaffirming that the effective functioning of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) remains essential in all fields of operation:

Vote: 169 to 6 (with two abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/101, December 10, 2010: On reaffirming that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived there from, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice:

Vote: 169 to 6 (with two abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/102, December 10, 2010: On deploring those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period:

Vote: 94 to 9 (with seventy-two abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/65/103, December 10, 2010: On reaffirming that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967:

Vote: 169 to 6 (with two abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/104, December 10, 2010: On reaffirming that the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development:

Vote: 169 to 6 (with three abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/105, December 10, 2010: On reiterating that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,8 and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity:

Vote: 165 to 9 (with two abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama.

 

A/Res/65/106, December 10, 2010: On calling upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision:

Vote: 167 to 1 (with nine abstentions). The vote in opposition: Israel (U.S. abstained).

 

A/Res/65/98, December 10, 2010: On calling upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, including with regard to increased expenditures arising from the serious socio-economic and humanitarian situation in the region, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and those mentioned in recent emergency appeals:

Vote: 169 to 1 (with six abstentions). The vote in opposition: Israel (U.S. abstained).

 

A/Res/65/99, December 10, 2010: On reaffirming the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967:

Vote: 167 to 6 (with four abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/13, November 30, 2010: On expressing its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly, and takes note of its annual report:

Vote: 112 to 9 (with 54 abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Japan, Marshall islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/14, November 30, 2010: On noting appreciation for the Division for Palestinian Rights of the General Secretariat and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

Vote: 110 to 9 (with 56 abstentions). The nine votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/15, November 30, 2010: About the Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the General Secretariat:

Vote: 167 to 8 (with two abstentions). The eight votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/16, November 30, 2010: On reaffirming the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects, and of intensifying all efforts towards that end:

Vote: 165 to 7 (with four abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/17, November 30, 2010: On reiterating its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures:

Vote: 166 to 6 (with four abstentions). The six votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/65/18, November 30, 2010:  On declaring that the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 497 (1981), and calls upon Israel to rescind it:

Vote: 118 to 7 (with 52 abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau.

 

A/Res/64/254, February 26, 2010: On reiterating its call upon the government of Israel to conduct investigations that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards into the serious violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law reported by the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report), towards ensuring accountability and justice; and reiterating its urging for the conduct by the Palestinian side of investigations that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards into the serious violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law reported by the Fact-Finding Mission, towards ensuring accountability and justice:

Vote: 98 to 7 (with 31 abstentions). The seven votes in opposition: U.S., Israel, Canada, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 

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