October 19, 2019

US Vetoes UN Statement for Failing to Denounce Hezbollah

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council statement on Sept. 5 because the resolution didn’t condemn Hezbollah.

The Times of Israel (TOI) and Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that France had drafted the statement to denounce “all violations of the Blue Line, both by air and ground, and strongly calls upon all parties to respect the cessation of hostilities.” 

The Blue Line is a reference to the U.N.’s delineation of the Israel-Lebanon border.

The U.S. vetoed the statement twice because it drew a moral equivalency between Israel and Hezbollah’s actions; eventually the statement was scrapped altogether when the rest of the member states refused to call Hezbollah a terror group. A Security Council statement needs to have the approval of all 15 members of the council.

Tensions have been escalating of late between Israel and Hezbollah; Hezbollah targeted an Israel Defense Force (IDF) vehicle on Sept. 1 in retaliation for an August Israeli strike into Syria against Hezbollah members. Israel retaliated with strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon later on Sept. 1.

In recent weeks, Israel revealed that Iran and Hezbollah are working to build precision-guided missile factories in Lebanon to attack Israelis. The Israeli government fears that such weaponry could overwhelm their missile defense systems. Hezbollah currently has as many as 150,000 rockets at their disposal, according to a Sept. 4 Foreign Policy article

The article also explains that it’s only a matter of time before another war breaks out between Israel and Hezbollah. Seth Jones, director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank, told Foreign Policy, “If you compare this to the last conflict, this one is almost certainly likely to be more destructive and broader in scope. I find it hard to believe that this would be limited to Israel and Lebanon … This is a much more dangerous situation than I think we’ve ever seen along the Israeli-Lebanese border.”

In December, U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer noted in a Facebook post that in 2018, the U.N. General Assembly condemned Israel 21 times and didn’t condemn Hezbollah once. In a video of him in front of Hezbollah’s tunnels into Israel, Neuer asked, “Will the United Nations be ready to adopt one resolution condemning Hezbollah for violating international law?”