CMEP Denounces Yet Another US UN Veto for Ceasefire in Gaza
On Friday, December 8th, the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution, co-sponsored by 97 member states, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in response to the UN General Secretary’s invocation of Article 99 of the UN Charter. The U.S. was the only country to veto. Article 99 allows for the General Secretary to “inform the council of matters he believes threaten international peace and security.” Aside from the United Kingdom, which abstained, all other members of the Security Council voted in favor.
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly denounces the United States’ persistent and shameful opposition to a comprehensive ceasefire. Sadly, this is yet another example of the United States actively preventing the United Nations from taking action in support of a ceasefire, having already vetoed several resolutions concerning Israel’s war in Gaza since October 7th.
As of December 11, more than 17,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed—the vast majority women and children—since Israel began its military campaign. With the resumption of the bombing and ground invasion, these numbers will only continue to rise. Yet the United States government, while claiming to care for the lives of Palestinian civilians, continues to actively support their ongoing killing. By vetoing another UN resolution calling for a ceasefire, the United States provides political and diplomatic cover and further delays a peaceful end to Israel’s ongoing continued military assault on the people of Gaza. These actions fly in the face of global sentiment and must be called into account.
As if to emphasize its support for Israel’s military assault and rejection of the global call for a ceasefire, the Department of State bypassed Congress to approve the sale of more than $106 million worth of tank ammunition. This step is a further signal that the US disregards the human toll that the Israeli assault on Gaza has taken.
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls on the United States to reverse course immediately and use its immense power and leverage to pressure Israel to end the violence. Only a ceasefire will stop the loss of civilian life in Gaza, allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need, many of whom are injured, sick, and starving; fend off the likelihood of increased regional violence; and create an atmosphere to resume negotiations for the release of remaining hostages held by Hamas, as well as Palestinian prisoners held without due process of law. CMEP reiterates there can be no military solution to the conflict. As the General Assembly convenes on Tuesday, December 12, for further debate, the United States must end its opposition to a ceasefire and support the United Nations’ taking meaningful action to end the ongoing loss of civilian life in Israel/Palestine and to avoid greater calamity by upholding its responsibility as a signatory to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Otherwise, the United States will continue to be complicit in the ongoing killing of thousands of civilians, including children, in Gaza.