Former UN Official on Security Council’s ‘hollowed out’ Gaza aid resolution: a ‘fig leaf’ for US complicity in Israel’s genocide
International human rights lawyer Craig Mokhiber criticized the UN Security Council’s newly-passed Gaza aid resolution today, saying that to call it “watered down” is a “kind” characterization. It was, to put it more accurately, “hollowed out” overnight by the US, UAE, and Israel prior to today’s vote, he said, after “delaying a vote on an earlier draft resolution for over a week.”
The edited version that was adopted had key provisions – including a suspension of hostilities, condemnation of humanitarian law violations, and UN monitoring of aid – stripped out, Mokhiber noted, adding that it’s not going to have “any meaningful impact.”
“The US has engaged in a lot of what i’ve called fig leaf harvesting,” he said. “And this is another fig leaf that allows them to avoid domestic and global condemnation for its complicity in the genocide.”
The former UN human rights official also raised questions about whether the resolution might interfere with the Security Council’s ability to “use the Uniting for Peace resolution in the General Assembly.”
He made his comments during a live stream hosted by The Electronic Intifada earlier today, after co-host Nora Barrows-Friedman read the breaking news to him, quoting from Reuters. EI journalist Ali Abunimah was also part of the exchange.
Mokhiber recently stepped down as Director of the New York Office for the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights due to their inaction over the “genocide unfolding before our eyes” in Palestine at the hands of the Israelis.
Here’s a transcript:
MOKHIBER: It hurts to hear that news. I knew that was coming. They were scheduled to meet at 11:30, just as we were getting organized for this show.
The US has been delaying a vote on an earlier draft resolution for over a week, trying to buy time for Israel as it tried to water down and negotiate the text.
This text, as it’s been adopted – and I haven’t seen the final version, but if it’s the one that i was seeing this morning – is bad news.
You know, the original text here was supposed to include a suspension of hostilities. It was supposed to include a condemnation of violations of humanitarian law. It was supposed to have a UN aid monitor included in it.
And overnight we learned that the UN, after all of these efforts it delayed – during which, by the way, thousands more have been injured or died or are under the rubble or killed by the Israelis – and instead they created this… watered down is a kind word; it’s been hollowed out. It’s not gonna have any meaningful impact.
We got no suspension of hostilities, the UN aid monitor has turned into a special coordinator, which is a very similar mechanism to what I described with these special advisor officers. Politically controlled.
Look at the UN Special Coordinator for the Occupied Territories, which is – I mean it’s another UN institution that should be dissolved. Because it does not take a principled position. If you just listen to the statements of the current special coordinator you’ll know that this is an office that is not on the side of international law or justice or human rights.
So the idea is to appoint a special coordinator, not a UN aid monitor that coudl actually facilitate more humanitarian aid in there.
And the problem with this is it gets– you know the US has engaged in a lot of what i’ve called “fig leaf harvesting.” And this is another fig leaf that allows them to avoid domestic and global condemnation for the genocide in Gaza.
They will spin it as an opportunity to increase humanitarian aid. And it may increase humanitarian aid by a slight amount, but not to the more– you know, before this assault began, Gaza, because of the siege was relying on 500 trucks a week. Now it’s been entirely destroyed. So, this… these really are fig leafs. It’s gonna be—
ABUNIMAH: 500 trucks a DAY.
MOKHIBER: Sorry 500 trucks a DAY.
ABUNIMAH: Yeah. Yeah. And now they’re at less than 10% of that.
MOKHIBER: Yeah, absolutely. So– so these are bad gestures.
And it also could mean that since the Security Council has acted, they can’t use the Uniting for Peace resolution in the General Assembly to get the world to vote on a resolution to, again, isolate the US and show that it is contradicting the position of the entire globe on these issues.
It’s a resolution that was drafted behind closed doors essentially overnight between the US and the UAE, and in direct consultation with the Israeli.
And we knew for days now that what they were trying to achieve was to get out especially the suspension of hostilities, to change it into language that basically means — and this is the way it was being described before the text was drafted — that Israel can decide when an appropriate moment has arrived in which it’s okay to let up on the hostilities.
And one has to ask: How do you have meaningful humanitarian assistance as the bombs are dropping and the snipers are shooting and the genocide is continuing? It’s less than zero in my view.