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Why USA Vetoes all UN Resolutions Against Israel?

The United States wields its veto power in the UN Security Council to obstruct resolutions critical or against the interests of Israel, motivated by factors such as:
  • Strategic alliance with Israel
  • Domestic political considerations
  • Security concerns
  • Different view of the peace process
  • Perceived bias within the UN
  • Broader regional stability considerations
Influence of Strong Jewish Lobby:
The US often uses its veto power in the UN Security Council to prevent resolutions that criticize Israel. This veto power is believed to be influenced by the power of pro-Israel Jewish lobbying groups on the US President and government. This influence is seen as guiding US foreign policy, with Israel's interests taking precedence over broader international consensus. Critics believe that this undermines the Council's ability to resolve Palestinian issues and keeps tensions in the region going.

This situation reflects the complex geopolitical alliances and internal politics of the US, where support for Israel is very important. As a result, resolutions that criticize Israel have a hard time getting enough support in the Security Council.

Critics argue that this approach undermines the UN's credibility and perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, US policymakers maintain that it aligns with American interests and aims to foster peace and stability in the region.

Strategic Alliance with Israel:
The United States and Israel forge an enduring strategic alliance grounded in shared geopolitical objectives and democratic principles. The US perceives Israel as a pivotal ally in the tumultuous Middle East, offering intelligence collaboration, military assistance, and a steadfast partnership in combating terrorism and fostering stability. This alliance manifests in unwavering diplomatic backing for Israel, including the strategic utilization of the veto to protect it from international censure for its human rights violations and other atrocities on the Palestinian people.

Domestic Political Considerations:
Domestic political considerations heavily influence the United States' foreign policy toward Israel. Powerful pro-Israel lobbying organizations, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), exert significant sway over American lawmakers and decision-makers. Politicians from both political parties frequently voice unwavering support for Israel to gain favour with pro-Israel voters, resulting in policies that align with perceived American interests in the Middle East.

Security Concerns:
The United States prioritizes Israel's security due to ongoing threats and conflicts in the Middle East. Israel allegedly confronts existential threats from hostile neighbours, notably Iran-supported militant groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The US recognizes Israel as a strategic defence against these threats. The US hesitates to support resolutions that could potentially weaken Israel's self-defence capabilities or jeopardize its security interests.

Different View of Peace Process:
The US has long played the role of mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, promoting a negotiated two-state solution achieved through direct negotiations between the parties. American policymakers often contend that unilateral actions or external pressure exerted through UN resolutions can obstruct the peace process rather than advance it. Consequently, the US may exercise its veto power against resolutions that are perceived to prejudge final status issues or circumvent bilateral negotiations.

Perceived Bias Within the UN:
The US, alongside Israel and its supporters, frequently criticizes the UN for what they perceive as a systematic bias against Israel. This bias is reflected in the disproportionate number of resolutions and condemnations directed at Israel compared to other nations with poor human rights records or ongoing conflicts. The US views its veto as a mechanism to counter what it deems as unjust treatment of Israel within the UN framework.

Broader Regional Stability Considerations:
The United States perceives Israel as a stabilizing force in the Middle East and is apprehensive about the potential ramifications of diplomatically isolating or alienating Israel. In light of the region's volatile situation, especially amidst ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, the US may prioritize preserving stability and mitigating further destabilization over backing resolutions that could escalate tensions with Israel.

Can a US President Survive by Contradicting the Interests of Israel?
In the US, Israel has an unbreakable connection built on shared history, strong strategic cooperation, and deep cultural ties. It is extremely difficult for a US president to survive politically when opposing Israeli interests due to the complexity of their relationship. Although possible in theory, it would be a long process with many obstacles along the way.

When Presidents dare to contradict the historical US-Israeli positions, they can encounter opposition in Congress that, in the majority of cases, values a strong friendship with Israel above everything else. Moreover, US public opinion sympathizes with Israel, so politically it is dangerous for a President to openly advocate against it.

The level to which a President can act against Israel's interests is variable with respect to the President's political capital, the geopolitical context, and the nature of issues involved. In some instances, administrations have pursued policies that appear unkind to Israel, such as peace negotiation efforts with Palestinian leadership. Nonetheless, such actions normally involve strategic planning to cushion any reaction while still maintaining wider support.

Challenging Israel's interests can be done, but this will remain one of the greatest political challenges for any U.S. president. To attain success would depend on smart diplomacy, a well-situated course in political measures, and much domestic and international consensus that there are other ways to approach this question.

Why US does not Support Two State Theory vis-à-vis Israel and Palestine?
It is well-known that the United States has long been a supporter of Israel, and therefore, it seems understandable why it is not in favour of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

As a result of historical events that have passed between the United States and the Zionist movement since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, including wars with Arab countries in which America openly supported Israel and has supplied military equipment over many years as part of its own strategic interests to fight against Soviet influence in the Middle East, not least, the US Government's adoption of Christian morality have all played a significant role in its continuous bias towards Israel.

In addition, when Americans assume the office of the presidency, they must first pledge allegiance to the country by participating in a religious oath-taking ceremony where only Christians are allowed, leaving Jews out. With all these happenings that have shaped US-Israel relations at different times since establishment, it is logically reasoned that US leaders have less heart for the Palestinian cause than Israelis.

The United States has consistently advocated for the two-state solution to be embraced by Israel and Palestine, with an understanding that it will bring about enduring peace and security within the region. The issue with the idea is that it also has several challenges in terms of how it should be implemented, which makes the US support of it fluctuate over time.

The geopolitical complexity of the Middle East could be one reason that the US does not support consistently and vigorously a two-state solution. The dynamics in the region are so complex, driven by security fears, past animosities, historical claims, or questions about the ownership of territories, making it difficult to find an agreeable two-state resolution.

Equally, the United States' position on the Israel-Palestine conflict is shaped by its internal politics. American lobbies on behalf of Israel such as AIPAC (The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) have a large impact on American government towards advocating for policies that are viewed as pro-Israel and don't support the two-state solution since they believe it may compromise Israeli security and territorial integrity.

In addition, changes in US presidential administrations and their focus on international policy can influence the level of backing given to the two-state formula. Occasionally, other regional concerns may hold sway or peace negotiations could be tried out with different patterns, which would impact the stability of US support for the concept of two states.

Even though the US has not been consistently supporting the two-state solution due to various regional issues and internal political dynamics, there is no doubt that it officially endorses it.

Does US Follow International Law Over Israel-Palestine Dispute?
The question that is most relevant in regard to the dispute of Israel-Palestine is whether America respects international law or not. This includes the initiatives that have been taken by the US government concerning recognition of Palestine as a state, actions regarding Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands, and other issues in order to learn whether they are consistent with international law.

In case the United States followed international law in addressing the issues between Israel and Palestine, this can help provide an overview of how both sides are in their interactions with each other. The relevance of this question comes from attempts made by U.S. officials themselves who have gone on record saying, "We will lead internationally because we want to drive key issues in order for justice to prevail all over the globe."

On closer analysis, any U.S. attempt to follow international law must be appreciated because once the bar is raised high enough for enforcement of a standard, countries like Israel would never be able to act contrary to it.

The respect of international law by the United States in the issue of Israel and Palestine has been more like a double standard. Although it is true that the US has endorsed some international legal precepts like the right to self-defence, there are also occasions where its paths have deviated from generally accepted standards and norms within the legal framework.

As an example, the US has a long-standing history of being against United Nations resolutions that criticized Israel for its actions like the settlement of the occupied territories which is not aligned with the Fourth Geneva Convention. Apart from this, the US also faced a contentious move in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel in 2017 despite global agreement and UN Security Council resolutions where it denies sovereignty.

In addition, the United States has continued to offer substantial military and financial assistance to Israel without expressing its reservations concerning the violation of human rights by the Israeli forces and unfair aggression on the Palestinian people that might make it an accomplice in such action amounting to a violation of international humanitarian law.

The US undertakes diplomatic initiatives with a view to promoting peace dialogue on certain occasions; however, the diplomacy of it is characterized by undue priority given to Israeli interests and some degree of legal accountability ambiguity.

Meanwhile, US domestic politics also play its part, influenced by pro-Israel lobbying groups who distort the reality of the conflict in favour of Israel and provide rational grounds for such behaviour while American officials often interpret these actions as taking their rightful place among sovereign states' activities that are consistent with long-standing traditions; therefore, the result is an intricate and often contentious engagement with international law in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565 

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