US abstention from Security Council resolution a warning to Israel: UN experts

January 11th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Jerusalem, Jan 11 (ANI): UN experts have said the US abstention on Thursday nights Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza should be viewed as a warning to Israeli leaders that Washingtons patience may be running thin.

Outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who spent three days in New York shuttling between conference chambers to help broker a deal between Arab nations and Western powers, told reporters on Friday that the abstention was meant as an endorsement of the multilateral peace talks taking place in Cairo.

It was simply believed that this might have been a little premature, The Jerusalem Post quoted Rice as saying at a briefing.

She said that she did not believe the final text implied any equivalence between Israeli, a UN member state, and Hamas, which she described as a terrorist organization, but said she felt it was important for the Security Council to articulate its condemnation of all acts of terrorism.

For the council to express that this all began with the refusal of Hamas to actually extend the [cease-fire] that Egypt had negotiated before, we thought these were important points, and given the situation in Gaza, that it was acceptable for the UN to speak, Rice said.

Veteran UN watchers told The Jerusalem Post that the Americans unwillingness to veto the British resolution, whose text was amended to reflect the concerns of Arab leaders, was unusual.

The fact that the US didnt veto is a victory, of sorts, said Warren Hoge, a former New York Times UN bureau chief who now works at the International Peace Institute, a think-tank that conducts research on UN affairs and conflict resolution.

Thats the most [the US has] ever done on a resolution the Israelis opposed, which I see as a sign that Israel may have gone too far, said Thomas Weiss, co-director of the UN Intellectual History project and a professor of political science at the City University of New York. (ANI)

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