The United States was the only veto in an emergency United Nations vote for a ceasefire in Israel this weekend. According to the UN, the resolution was “put forward by the United Arab Emirates and backed by over 90 Member States. There were 13 votes in favour and the United Kingdom abstained.”
The U.S. gave this reason for the veto: “Unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations were ignored [leading to an] imbalanced resolution that was divorced from reality that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way. And so, we regretfully could not support it.”
Once again the explanation was because the resolution did not condemn Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. Does language matter when civilians are dying at such high rates?
Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a report this weekend showing that the Israeli army is carrying out “unprecedented killing” in Gaza. A sociology professor at the Open University of Israel showed that the civilian death rate for previous raids on Gaza in the last decade ranged between 33 and 40%. That is still terrible but not when you compare it to the raid that has been happening since October 7. According to the report, the civilian proportion of total deaths rose is now 61%. That is higher than the average civilian toll in all the conflicts around the world during the 20th century.