Explanation of Vote on the Participation in the UNGA Fourth Committee Palestinian Resolutions

Samantha Sutton
Political Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 4, 2020


The United States continues to lead on peace in the Middle East, taking active steps to build greater trust among our partners in the region by identifying their shared interests and moving them away from the conflicts of the past. Between the U.S. Vision for Peace and the Abraham Accords, we have made tangible gains in promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Middle East, and a peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

Yet, once again, despite our efforts and those of Israel and regional partners, the United Nations and this committee continue to cling to old narratives, tired rhetoric, and the same unbalanced approach, taking up a disproportionate number of unbalanced resolutions that are unfairly critical of Israel, demonstrating a clear and persistent institutional bias directed at one member state.

The Fourth Committee alone has considered seven resolutions that are biased against Israel. None of these resolutions address actions by the Palestinians or the terrorist groups operating in the region. The resolution on “The Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,” (SCIIHRP) for instance, makes no mention of human rights violations by Hamas. There is no reference to a Gaza court that convicted three Palestinian peace activists on the charge “weakening revolutionary spirit” for the simple act of Skyping with Israeli peace activists. None of these resolutions address what human rights organizations identify as Hamas’ persecution of journalists, opponents, and activists who do not toe the Hamas party line.

These anti-Israel resolutions recycle the tired, habitual rhetoric that only lock both sides into the same intractable conflict. They presuppose the outcome of final status issues that can be resolved only through negotiations between the parties. They also damage UN credibility, casting into doubt the impartiality of the UN. These resolutions also waste limited UN resources better devoted to international priorities. This one-sided approach only undermines trust between the parties and fails to create the kind of positive international environment critical to achieving peace. It also rewards the obstructionism that continues to impede real progress toward peace. As the United States has repeatedly made clear, this dynamic is unacceptable.

And so, the United States once again votes against these one-sided resolutions and encourages other nations to do so. The United States remains firmly and consistently committed to achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians with the U.S. Vision as the starting point for negotiations. The cause of peace will be served when the bias of the United Nations against Israel ends. The United States will continue to oppose every effort to de-legitimize Israel, and we hope other Members join us by voting “no” on these resolutions.