In Wake of Hamas Atrocities against Israel, UN Demands Ceasefire
A majority of world governments voted Friday for a resolution calling for “an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” in Gaza, during an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution passed with 120 nations in favor to 14 nations against and 45 abstentions. “After the horrific attacks of October 7, calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas,” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded.
On October 7, Hamas militants poured into Israel by boat, by parasail, and by cutting through the border fence. The terrorists killed more than 1,400 Israelis — mostly civilians — and captured more than 200 people. “Hamas murdered children in front of their parents, murdered parents in front of their children. They burned people alive, they raped women, they beheaded men, they tortured Holocaust survivors, they kidnapped babies,” said Netanyahu at a Monday press conference.
The resolution demanded “all parties immediately and fully comply with their obligations under international law, including … the protection of civilians and civilian objects.” The U.N. General Assembly also voted down an amendment to the resolution, offered by Canada, to include an explicit condemnation of Hamas.
“As long as Hamas’s use of Palestinian human shields results in the international community blaming Israel, Hamas will continue to use [the practice] as a tool of terror,” Netanyahu protested. “Hamas will continue to use the basements in Gaza’s hospitals as the command posts of its vast terror tunnel network. It will continue to use mosques as fortified military positions and weapon depots. It will continue to steal fuel and humanitarian assistance from UN facilities.”
Netanyahu said the resolution would not deter Israel from taking the steps necessary to ensure its own protection. “Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas,” he said. “After the horrific attacks of October 7, calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.”
In November 2018, Hamas militants and other Iranian-backed terrorists launched 460 rockets at Israel. Later that month, the U.N. General Assembly refused to pass a resolution condemning Hamas but passed seven resolutions condemning Israel. “Over the years, the UN has voted to condemn Israel over 500 times … and not one single resolution condemning Hamas,” complained then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.
Before Friday’s resolution, the United Nations had failed to issue any official response to Hamas’s October 7 attack, despite the U.N. Security Council considering four separate resolutions. A U.S. resolution supporting Israel’s right to self-defense was vetoed by permanent members Russia and China. A Brazilian resolution condemning Hamas but morally equating Israel’s and Hamas’s actions was vetoed by the U.S., another permanent member. Two resolutions introduced by Russia failed to receive majority support.
On “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins noted the timing of the U.N. resolution, which came just before Israeli forces began “moving into Gaza,” which in turn is “creating backlash from the sympathizers of the Palestinians in the United Nations and around the world.”
“When … Hamas terrorists — the butchers — invaded Israel and slaughtered Jews, I thought that was horrific. It was gut wrenching. It was a moment in our world history that will not soon be forgotten, nor should it,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) on “Washington Watch.” “But now that … this underbelly of anti-Semitism is being revealed to us in such a crass, condemning, ugly manner, I am sick to my stomach. I had no idea. I knew there was anti-Semitism in the world. I had no idea that it had been so deeply dug into our systems of education, into all segments of our society.”
Jews in America have suffered a wave of anti-Semitic attacks since October 7, with many occurring at universities or in left-leaning urban centers. Alford said the moment was “a wake-up call to us all to realize that this type of hate has no place in our society, and we must root it out.” Perkins agreed, noting that, during his term of service on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the commissioners “heard from some of the experts on the topic,” who “pointed to the fact that [anti-Semitism] is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to religious hostility.”
“It is a battle between good and evil. It is a battle between God Almighty and Satan,” said Alford.
Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.