Lieberman Satisfied With UN Vote on Goldstone
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed his satisfaction Friday with the results of the United Nations General Assembly vote on a report which accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. "On the whole, we are satisfied with the fact that 18 countries, which are a moral majority, supported Israel's stance and 44 abstained and did not vote with the automatic majority," he said.
The General Assembly on Thursday night endorsed the Goldstone Report and called on the UN secretary-general to transmit the report to the Security Council. The resolution, which was backed by 114 countries, was later rejected by Israel as being "detached from reality".
The adopted resolution includes several clauses: The endorsement of the report by the UN Human Rights Council; a call on the UN secretary-general to transfer it to the Security Council; a call on Israel to launch a reliable independent investigation, in accordance with international standards, into serious violations of the international humanitarian law and human rights laws; and a similar demand from the Palestinians.
Foreign Minister Lieberman knew in advance that there was no way to beat the automatic majority in the UN, which includes Arab countries and the non-aligned countries. He believes Israel's diplomatic work on the eve of the General Assembly vote led to fitting results.
"It's not a trivial thing that 18 countries, including those from the first line of the Western democratic world, would vote against the resolution," he said.
"The automatic majority of countries like Saudi Arabia and Somalia at the UN is, unfortunately, a given situation. These are not countries which will teach us about morals; they are the ones we expect salvation from. They will not teach us the values of warfare. Once again it has been proven that the UN is not an arena we can fight in," the foreign minister added.
Throughout the day before the vote, the group of Arab countries had attempted to reach an understanding with European and other countries which opposed the resolution. Western countries tried to moderate the Arab wording, but failed. The Arab countries decided to have the proposal voted on and win the automatic majority of most Muslim states and other non-aligned countries.
Even before the resolution was adopted, Jerusalem launched diplomatic efforts to curb the report at the Security Council. The Foreign Ministry still expects the United States to veto a one-sided resolution against Israel at the UN body.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has confirmed that there is a "silent understanding" with the US that it would not let the Security Council endorse such a resolution.