US Exercise of Veto Power Is Complicity in Gaza Massacre

A U.N. Security Council resolution seeking an immediate cease-fire in Israel’s military’s invasion of Palestinian Gaza has been rejected because the U.S. exercised its veto power, but it was a reckless action that trampled on the international community’s efforts to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. The Japanese government should urge the U.S. to change its mind.

Since fighting resumed on Dec. 1, civilian casualties in Gaza have steadily piled up, and more than 18,000 people have been killed since the war started.

Humanitarian supplies are running out, and amputations are being performed on wounded children, without anesthesia. For the first time since U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assumed his post in 2017, he appealed to the U.N. Security Council to request a humanitarian cease-fire based on Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, which is the foundation of the resolution.

Approximately 100 countries joined the proposal calling for a cease-fire and release of hostages held by the Islamic organization Hamas. Of the 15 countries on the U.N. Security Council, Japan and 13 others voted in favor of the resolution, but the U.K. abstained, and the U.S. exercised its right to veto the proposed cease-fire, the second time it has done so since October.

The U.S., where President Joe Biden and others have called on Israel to protect civilians in Gaza, is saying one thing and doing another, and international nongovernmental organizations have rightly asserted that the U.S. is complicit in the carnage in Gaza..

In an unusual move, the Biden administration also made an emergency decision to sell tank ammunition to Israel without congressional approval. Having taken this step, the U.S. cannot avoid censure with some excuse about asking Israel to protect civilian lives.

An Israeli military spokesman claimed that the ratio of two Palestinian civilians killed for every Hamas fighter is “tremendously positive.” The Israelis are also ignoring the international laws of war with such actions as abducting detained citizens in their underwear.

The U.S. is applying a double standard, criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as contrary to the laws of war while turning a blind eye to the reckless actions Israel is taking.

The U.S. should also realize that by exercising its veto power, it invites damage to its own prestige and isolation from the international community. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, has condemned the U.S. as an “accomplice in the crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes.”

Eighty percent of the civilians in Gaza have been driven out of their homes, and there are concerns about the spread of infectious disease. As a peace-loving nation, Japan has a duty to appeal to the U.S. for an immediate cease-fire. There is no more time to waste.

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About Dorothy Phoenix 108 Articles
Dorothy is an independent video game developer, software engineer, technical writer, and tutor, with experience teaching students how to program and make games. In addition to programming and video games, Dorothy also enjoys studying Japanese language and culture. One of her goals is to exhibit a game at the Tokyo Game Show someday.

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