The United Nations Security Council failed to approve a resolution on Monday introduced by Russia that would have pressured Israel to refrain from self defense against the jihadist terrorist organization Hamas, which brutally slaughtered over 1,300 civilians, many in their homes, on October 7. The resolution did not mention Hamas.
The Security Council meeting on Monday, which failed to produce any statement or action from the body, was the second such encounter resulting in silence from the United Nations’ most powerful organ. The Council initially met on Sunday, October 8 to discuss the Hamas massacre, but issued no condemnation against the terrorists or public statement as a collective at all.
“We did not discuss any joint statement, but no one proposed any text anyway,” said Malta’s U.N. representative, Vanessa Frazier, following the initial meeting.
While the greater U.N., particularly the General Assembly, has a history of condemning Israel’s existence on a regular basis, the Security Council – where America, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China enjoy veto powers over resolutions – has not weighed in on the situation in the country since 2016. Its silence in the face of the unprecedented brutality Hamas displayed in its attack on Israeli civilians is of particular note given the gruesome nature of the violence.
On October 7 – the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, the final day of the annual High Holy Day cycle – Hamas terrorists fired thousands of rockets into Israel, then infiltrated on foot, raiding residential communities and going door-to-door killing people. At a music festival, Hamas terrorists opened fire on crowds of young civilians, abducted an unknown number, and left a trail of hundreds of bodies.
In homes, Israeli officials found the bodies of the elderly and infants burned to death and decapitated. Hamas terrorists used mobile phones, some of them belonging to their victims, to film themselves killing and desecrating corpses, then post the videos online.
The resolution the Russian government proposed to the Security Council on Monday regarding the violence did not mention Hamas. Instead, the text called for a “humanitarian ceasefire, release of all hostages, aid access, and safe evacuation of civilians,” according to a U.N. summary of the meeting.
Russia received support from five countries on the Council – China, Gabon, Mozambique, and the United Arab Emirates – and four countries – France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and America – voted against the resolution. Brazil, which has introduced its own resolution on the crisis, as well as Albania, Ecuador, Ghana, Malta, and Switzerland, all abstained from the vote.
A diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Israel, Stephanie Hallett, choked up as she spoke about the "evil" she witnessed in the aftermath of the recent attacks on Israelis by Hamas terrorists. pic.twitter.com/Et7mFmUNuW— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 11, 2023
“Members were divided over the lack of specific condemnation of extremist group Hamas,” the U.N. relayed. The organization’s summary of the meeting described the Russian representative at the Council, Vassily Nebenzia, railing that demands to condemn Hamas’s mass murder were “selfish” and “political,” and that the votes against his resolution had “basically stomped” all over any hope to resolve the conflict between Israel and those who wish to destroy it.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who represents the United States, condemned the Russian government for failing to mention Hamas in a resolution presumably addressing violence by Hamas.
“This was the worst massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust. It was an appalling human tragedy that has brought to the surface painful scars left by a millennia of antisemitism,” Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement explained America’s opposition to the resolution.
“Russia’s resolution, put forward without any consultations, makes no mention of Hamas – none,” she continued. “By failing to condemn Hamas, Russia is giving cover to a terrorist group that brutalizes innocent civilians. It is outrageous, it is hypocritical, and it is indefensible.”
Similarly, British Ambassador Barbara Woodward explained, “we cannot support a resolution which fails to condemn Hamas’ terror attacks.”
“Hamas actions were an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people. It is unconscionable for this Council to ignore the largest terror attack in Israel’s history,” Woodward added.
As a result of the failure of the Russian resolution, the Security Council has formally said and done nothing in response to the Hamas attacks. The Council is expected to convene again on Tuesday to address and potentially vote on the draft resolution introduced by Brazil, which currently holds the presidency of the Council through the end of October.
That draft contains language “[u]nequivocally reject[ing] and condemn[ing] the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas,” but urges Israel to allow “humanitarian pauses” in its attacks on Hamas to give time for food, water, and other aid to enter Gaza, Hamas’s stronghold. Russia has moved to change this language to demand an “immediate” ceasefire – essentially ordering Israel not to respond to the Hamas attack. The Council, as per its rules, needs to vote on the Russian amendments to the resolution draft before voting on whether or not to adopt the resolution itself.
During the meeting on Monday, Israeli envoy Gilad Erdan urged the Security Council to condemn “the genocide of jihadists who aim to murder all the infidels.”
“For a body dedicated to security, this shouldn’t even be a question,” Erdan asserted. “The first step this council must take before any calls for aid, calm or restraint is to designate Hamas as the murderous terror organization that it is.”