For the second time in four days, the United States has quashed an attempted United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate end to the war in the Gaza Strip. After the latest rejection, US envoy Alejandro Wolff declared that there was “no point” in the statement, because Hamas (who has previously suggested openness to a ceasefire) would never abide by it. Wolff added that it was unacceptable for the council to equate the killing of civilians by the Israeli government with the killing of civilians by Hamas, and that “Israel’s self-defense is not negotiable.”
The previous draft resolution also called for “an immediate ceasefire and for its full respect by both sides,” which the United States condemned as “one-sided.” The new draft seemed aimed at answering those concerns, as the British government suggested everyone was open to a resolution if the terms were right.
Yet this seems not to have been the case, and the US rejection this time appears to have nothing to do with the terms of the draft, and everything to do with the fact that it would call on Israel to stop its invasion. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States can veto any resolution, and has traditionally done so when the resolution would stand in the way of Israeli military action. As the toll continues to rise (passing 500 today) the UN will remain completely unable to act, barring a sudden and miraculous change of American foreign policy priorities.