American veto history: Protecting occupation, apartheid

Monday, February 6 2012|Noam Sheizaf | 972 Magazine

A few comments criticized my post on Syria for comparing the Russian-Chinese Security Council veto on the resolution condemning Assad’s repression of the anti-government protest to American vetoes on resolutions criticizing Israel. See, for example, this strange blog post, which in the usual spirit of right-wing propaganda, accuses me of opposing the UNSC resolution on Syria myself.

This, of course, is complete nonsense – I specifically wrote that even more should be done to remove Assad from power, and a Security Council resolution would have only been a first step. Still, I noted that the Russian and Chinese are no different from the American administration in protecting their regional allies even when they abuse human and civil rights – a fact I don’t really think is debatable.

Let’s go back to the issue of the veto: Jadaliyya published a list of American vetoes from the last forty years, and it doesn’t make the State Department look very good: except for killing any attempt to recognize the Palestinians’ basic human and civil rights, until the mid-1980s, the administration was busy blocking resolution against South Africa’s apartheid.

Some examples:

Year Resolution Vetoed by the United States

1973 Affirms the rights of the Palestinians and calls on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

1976 Calls for self determination for the Palestinians.

1978 Calls for developed countries to increase the quantity and quality of development assistance to underdeveloped countries.

1979 Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.

1980 Condemns Israeli policy regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

1982 Condemns apartheid and calls for the cessation of economic aid to South Africa. 4 resolutions.

1986 Imposes economic and military sanctions against South Africa.

1987 Calls on Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.

1997 Calls on Israel to cease building settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.

Read the full list here.

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