The Meaning of the UN Vote about a Ceasefire in Gaza


By Michael Pröbsting

The vote of the United Nations General Assembly about the Gaza War is of extraordinary importance. A number of Arab states introduced a resolution which calls for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israel and Hamas. It also demands “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” provision of lifesaving supplies and services for civilians trapped inside the enclave.

The resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority with 120 countries voting in favour, 45 abstentions and only 14 states against. An amendment, introduced by Canada and backed by the U.S., that would have condemned Hamas and “the taking of hostages” failed to gain the necessary votes.

As a Marxist revolutionary, I am certainly not inclined to have any illusions about this institution. The UN does not represent the interests of the popular masses but those of the governments of the respective countries. Furthermore, and revealingly, resolutions adopted by the General Assembly – where all countries are represented – are non-binding. It is only decisions adopted by the small 15-members UN Security Council – where five imperialist Great Powers have veto-rights (U.S., China, Russia, France and UK) – which have legally binding consequences.

Still, I consider this resolution as very important in its political meaning. Basically, it represents a major diplomatic blow for Israel and its most important backer, the U.S. When the Zionist Apartheid state began its genocidal war against the Palestinian people in Gaza, Washington and all European powers rallied in unconditional support for the barbarians. They visited Israel and expressed unlimited solidarity with Netanyahu and his serial killer partners-in-crime. The U.S. sent two carrier groups to the region, assigned teams of military advisers to Tel Aviv, and began to deliver vast amounts of ammunition for the Zionist war machinery. They ludicrously denounced Hamas as “worse than ISIS” and started an unprecedented wave of repression against pro-Palestinian solidarity activities in North America and Europe.

Consequently, they tried to rally the “international community” behind their support for Israel’s terrorist war. Against widespread demands for a stop of the barbaric onslaught, the Western imperialists backed the efforts of the Netanyahu government to kill as many Palestinians as possible and to crush the armed resistance factions.

However, they have completely failed in this. The UN vote reveals that it is not the Palestinian people which are isolated but Israel and its fanatic supporters in the West! Beside the Zionist state and the U.S., it was only some small European hard-core friends of Israel (e.g. Austria and Hungary) as well as a number of micro-states which are financially totally dependent on Washington (e.g. Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Fiji) which opposed the ceasefire resolution. Even the European powers and India whose governments have been staunch supporters of the Zionist state either abstained or even voted in favour of the resolution!

This shows in a distorted form that the vast majority of humanity totally rejects Israel’s terrorist war against the Palestinian people. It is US demonstrating on the streets in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Palestine who represent the will of the vast majority of humanity! It is THEM – the arrogant Western rulers – who are isolated fanatics supporting the Herrenmenschen in Netanyahu’s government!

Furthermore, this vote on the currently most important conflict in world politics is a humiliating defeat for U.S. imperialism and reflects its massive decline as a hegemonic power. Despite huge political and military efforts, Washington could not gain global support for Israel’s war. Contrary, it rather pushed the Arab and Muslim countries (as well as many others) away.

The UN vote for a ceasefire will certainly increase the political pressure on the Western powers without which support Israel could not wage its barbaric aggression. However, the slaughter on the ground is continuing. It is decisive that the mass protests – particularly in the Arab and Muslim world as well as in Western countries – continue and increase. Pressure must be put on Arab and other Southern government to end to any “normalization” with the abnormal Apartheid state. There must be actions to sabotage all forms of military and economic support for the Israeli state.

Those governments which claim to support the cause of the Palestinian people must transform words to deeds and send the Palestinian people everything they need, including humanitarian aid as well as arms. And Iran and its allies who were so determined to come to Assad’s aid when the tyrant has faced a popular uprising of the Syrian people since 2011 – how long do they want to wait with opening a second front?