In mid-June the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) made a so called “urgent” meeting to discuss the “violence at the border between Gaza and Israel.”
Everybody knew before the meeting that there was a “resolution” already agreed by an automatic majority to condemn the Israeli government for “disproportionate use of force” — a political show without legal consequences, but a show nonetheless.
But those who were ready to condemn Israel received a U.S. proposal for adding an amendment with a very clear text: condemn Hamas and its terrorist attacks against the Israeli border.
We all remember that the motion got 66 votes and 42 abstentions, but it was defeated by a technicality to be included in the original proposal of resolution.
If we consider the votes against Hamas plus the 100 abstentions, it shows that this is a step forward that those 100 countries, in one way or another, are recognizing that Hamas is a terrorist organization.
More than a month later, violence at the border has not diminished. Hamas has been attacking Israel, burning the Israeli territory with balloons, kites and everything in its power; launching rockets; killing Israeli soldiers by snipers and making the situation each day worse and each day closer to a war.
Has the U.N. reacted to these ongoing attacks by Hamas? Of course not. On the contrary, statements by high U.N. officers are disgraceful and one-sided, blasting Israel for defending its borders according to international law, and forgetting that Hamas is a terrorist group that again and again is publicly claiming for the destruction of Israel and the slaughtering of the Jews.
In this hopeless context of the U.N., Latin American countries have no better attitudes than certain EU countries or China. But the key moment to learn how far Latin American countries can go in Israel bashing, was given a month ago during the voting on Hamas as a terrorist organization.
It was no surprise that rogue regimes like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia supported Hamas. Venezuela is safe haven of Hezbollah and has opened doors for its terrorists endangering the whole region.
Abstentions from Argentina, Chile, Panama or the Dominican Republic were surprising, but at least they were different from Venezuela or Cuba.
Guatemala, Honduras, México, Paraguay, Perú, clearly condemned Hamas.
The question that we have to make to ourselves is what kind of thoughts were in mind in Brazil and Uruguay when they decided to vote against the U.S. proposal and directly and indirectly endorsed Hamas.
Since when do democratic governments support terrorism? Difficult question; hopeless answer.
In the following month after the UNGA meeting we are mentioning, no country that supported Hamas in the voting had said a word of apology or something similar. So, it was not a diplomatic “mistake” or a diplomatic “accident.” It is real that the governments of these countries believe that attacking 30,000 people with weapons at the border of a democratic country is not a violation of international law. They are saying that Israel has no right to defend its existence, its people and its properties. They are also saying that the big lie that the Hamas attacks are “peaceful demonstrations” is not a lie for them.
Those who voted for the infamous resolution last June 14 in the General Assembly — including of course those from Latin America who decided to be partners of the infamy — wanted at that moment to increase the violence against Israeli soil and keep Israeli civilians in shelters almost every day. If they wanted the situation as such, they have succeeded.
Bitter and shameful success.
Israel is beyond the charade and will keep its integrity defending its right to protect its borders and its people.
Those who have voted for terrorists will know they are wrong, sooner or later. Either way, it will be too late to explain to its own people such terrible mistake.
Eduardo Kohn, Ph.D., has been the B’nai B’rith executive vice president in Uruguay since 1981 and the B’nai B’rith International Director of Latin American Affairs since 1984. Before joining B'nai B'rith, he worked for the Israeli embassy in Uruguay, the Israel-Uruguay Chamber of Commerce and Hebrew College in Montevideo. He is a published author of “Zionism, 100 years of Theodor Herzl,” and writes op-eds for publications throughout Latin America. He graduated from the State University of Uruguay with a doctorate in diplomacy and international affairs. To view some of his additional content, click here.
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