News and Analysis

U.S. Refuses To Vote Against UN Resolution Calling For Immediate Gaza Ceasefire. Israel Cancels Its Delegation’s Visit To Washington.

"The US asked for an amendment adding a condemnation of Hamas for its attack on Israel on 7 October ... but dropped that demand when it became clear the amendment would be resisted."
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 29: United States President Joe Biden visits the Texas border to remark on immigration reform on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville.
Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

On Monday, in the wake of the Biden administration refusing to vote against a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate Gaza Strip ceasefire for the month of Ramadan, instead only abstaining on the vote, the Israeli government canceled sending its delegation to Washington D.C.

The Biden administration had previously vetoed similar resolutions. By abstaining, the Biden administration permitted the resolution to be passed, a move that has prompted strong backlash from critics and heightened tension between the two governments. Israeli Prime Minister had warned the Biden administration Israel would cancel its delegation unless it vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution.


“At the last minute on Monday morning, the US asked for an amendment adding a condemnation of Hamas for its attack on Israel on 7 October, leading to urgent huddles of diplomats on the chamber floor, but dropped that demand when it became clear the amendment would be resisted,” The Guardian reported.

“The Security Council just approved a long-awaited resolution on Gaza, demanding an immediate ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. This resolution must be implemented. Failure would be unforgivable,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres Guterres tweeted.

Israel is on the verge of targeting Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas in Gaza. Although the resolution calls for cessation of hostilities during Ramadan, it is worth noting that the Yom Kippur War against Israel by Syria and Egypt in October 1973 was launched during Ramadan.

The Biden administration has been frantically trying to impede Israel’s efforts to enter Rafah. President Biden has reportedly warned Netanyahu not to proceed with Israel’s attack on Rafah. In early February, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby threatened, “Military operations right now would be a disaster for those people, and it’s not something that we would support.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted in mid-February, “Taking Rafah Is Essential to Defeat Hamas. It’s the terror group’s last stronghold. Why is Biden opposed to Israel capturing the city? Ever notice how it is always deemed a humanitarian imperative to let Hamas survive? The diplomatic pressure on Israel to stay out of Rafah, Hamas’s final stronghold, has become enormous.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted in mid-February, “Those who say that under no circumstances should we enter Rafah are basically saying lose the war, keep Hamas there.”

At the end of February, fiercely pro-Israel Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) led a group of GOP senators who blasted President Biden in a letter for “undermining Israeli operations against Hamas in Gaza.”

Biden issued a February 1 executive order in which he referred to Judea and Samaria as the “West Bank,” claimed there were “high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction,” all while ignoring the violence perpetrated against Israelis in the area.

“These actions undermine the foreign policy objectives of the United States, including the viability of a two-state solution and ensuring Israelis and Palestinians can attain equal measures of security, prosperity, and freedom. They also undermine the security of Israel,” Biden declared in the order, adding, “These actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”

On February 8, Biden issued a National Security Memorandum which stated that the United States had to “obtain credible and reliable written assurances from a representative of the recipient country as the Secretary of State deems appropriate that the recipient country will use any such defense articles in accordance with international humanitarian law and, as applicable, other international law,” thus leaving Israel vulnerable to “international law.”

“Both documents undercut our most valuable alliance in the Middle East,” wrote Cotton and the other senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Ted Budd of North Carolina. “We call on you to rescind both documents and to sanction terrorists and their supporters instead of their victims. Your February 1 EO grants the State Department broad authority to arbitrarily punish Israelis in Judea and Samaria, with no defined standards for determining when sanctions are warranted. Under the guise of ‘peace, security, or stability of the West Bank,’ it appears the State Department can punish arbitrarily any Israeli it wants.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  U.S. Refuses To Vote Against UN Resolution Calling For Immediate Gaza Ceasefire. Israel Cancels Its Delegation’s Visit To Washington.