US, UK, AUS Defy International Law at UN

Canada, Israel and three Pacific Island nations also voted at the General Assembly on Tuesday against what has been international law since 1967 — namely, that Israel must end its occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights. By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The United Nations General Assembly voted 91 in favor and 8 against with 62 abstentions to reaffirm U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 of 1967 and 497 of 1981 that demand Israel cease its control over the Golan Heights and return it to Syria. 

Resolution 242 (1967) speaks of the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and “demands withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” which lasted six days from June 5 to June 10, 1967.  Israel started the war and took the Golan Heights from Syria, Gaza from Egyptian administration, Sinai from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordanian control. 

Resolution 497 (1981) also reaffirms “that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law and relevant Security Council resolutions,” and “decides that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect” and “demands that Israel, the occupying Power, should rescind forthwith its decision.”

Except for some pro-Israeli voices, those resolutions are nearly universally viewed as legally binding on Israel, as all Security Council resolutions are binding on all nations. Security Council resolutions create international law, even for countries that vote against them.  But Resolution 242 and 497 were unanimously adopted, meaning both the United States and Britain, both veto-wielding members, voted in favor of both of them.

To vote against the resolution on Tuesday referring to 242 and 497, as the United States and Britain did, was to defy their own votes back in 1967 and 1981 and undermine the legitimacy of international law.  Joining them to defy that law were two of the other five eyes: Canada and Australia. New Zealand and Europe, as a bloc, abstained. 

View speeches during the Assembly session on Tuesday. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., at 26:00 provided a disturbing account of the devastation of his people in Gaza:

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe

16 comments for “US, UK, AUS Defy International Law at UN

  1. Jack Stephen HepburnFlanigan
    December 2, 2023 at 09:01

    As an Australian I am deeply ashamed.


  2. Em
    November 30, 2023 at 12:13

    Contemporary democracy is Greek to me. Classical democratic Athens, like biblical history, is but another prehistoric myth of History!

    Israel was not founded on any principles of democracy that I recognize given the fact that there were indigenous peoples already on the land who had flourished there for millennia. The State of Israel was arbitrarily derived from biblical myth to the detriment of those actually living on the land unbroken, for millennia, since time immemorial.

    Ever since the first Europeans set foot on the North American continent, what today is regarded as democracy was in actuality abolished with the extermination of the indigenous peoples.
    India may have been democratic until 1757, when the British first formally began to colonize the place.

    Whatever form of democracy may have existed disappeared into the robes of European monopolist Empire, until the Raj – that same brutal monarchy, granted sovereign independence to the nation state of India.

    The Americas too, were never ‘lands without people, for people without a land’. The U.S. was founded on the same fallacy as that of Israel.
    Stating the point diplomatically, “separate development” was imposed by the settlers, from the get-go.

    “Separate development”, as the world is witnessing today, is NOT an isolated ‘thing’ of the forgotten past! In Israel, the difference being that it has only been ongoing for the past 75 years!

    If evolution – the gradual developmental progress of ‘humanity’, especially from a simple to a more complex form has any currency today, the negative theories of racism are invalid fallacies, yet the consequences thereof have been disastrous for humanity throughout the ages of so-called evolution.

    At this particularly dramatic juncture in history, on this particular occasion; is the UN’s reaffirmation of its previous Security Council resolutions on Israels disregard of international law finally going to take effect, and be enforced?
    Or is Israel, this time, voluntarily going to come to its senses, without a battle to the death? Is it going to give-up its diabolical long-term plan of ethnically cleansing all of the territory it considers to be solely its own god-given land?

    And apparently, to this point in time, the majority of the global population, despite the voting in the UN to the contrary, has been toothless to upset Israels demonic plans.

    The democratically elected party running concentration camp Gaza, has finally found the wherewithal to stand up to Israel, in the only way that has made an impact that Israel understands, and that has actually made a difference to its 75 year status quo ability to oppress and murder innocent Palestinian Arabs, in the land they had thrived on for millennia, before the arrival of displaced European refugees and ‘others’.

    The American ‘Jim Crow’ laws of the late 1870’s on, until the civil rights era; from the 1950’s on, were the forerunner rules of institutional ‘Apartheid’ in South Africa, from 1948 on, until the overthrow of the European racist regime, in the 1990’s.
    Both expressions are identical terminology for enforcing separation of human beings from each other.
    Forcibly separating the Palestinian Arab populations from the Zionists in Palestine-Israel is nothing less than Apartheid, whichever descriptive words are applied.

    Neither America, South Africa or Israel, were founded on the contemporary notional understanding of democratic principles.
    All three – minority run entities, citing their bibles, at one time or another in their despicable social histories claimed they were bringing humanity to uncivilized beings, savages or “human animals” in the name of human progress!

    And today, at this moment in repeating history, the world once again stands on the cusp of the positively “final solution” WW. The only difference this time, being that this ever ongoing holocaust will end in the extermination of all of us on mother Earth.

    Who is to blame? Each and everyone of us in the privileged parts of the globe need to really see ourselves in the mirror before casting stones!!!

    • Rafael
      December 1, 2023 at 18:19

      Well said!

    • Jack Stephen HepburnFlanigan
      December 2, 2023 at 09:29

      I thank you for your comment and specifically, and strongly endorse the last sentence of your comment.
      Keep at it!

  3. Paul Greenwood
    November 29, 2023 at 22:27

    Blair rendered U.K. as puppet state to US and Israel and purged Arabists from Foreign Office

    U.K. has no standing even within U.K. where disgust for the Overlords is rife

  4. Tim Hughes
    November 29, 2023 at 19:53

    Shameful that my country, Canada, once again plays lap dog to the murderous U.S. overlord.

    • Korey Dykstra
      December 1, 2023 at 13:18


    • Laurie Holbrook
      December 1, 2023 at 21:14

      As a Canadian, I agree completely. However, I’ll put it more succinctly – Ottawa is so far up Washington’s butt, GPS can’t find it. My government’s record on geopolitics makes me sick.

  5. bardamu
    November 29, 2023 at 16:26

    We speak much of what isn’t:

    —- Loudly the mafia state calls for a rules-based order
    —- Righteously the MSM decries disinformation
    —- Boldly NATO declares that Russia intends to take over Europe
    —- Persistently the racist state speaks of racism

    One could go on. We sign an agreement because factions disagree . . . .

  6. Andrew Nichols
    November 29, 2023 at 16:14

    Kiwi here. NZ has as of the recent election descended into a nasty racist rightwing populism. Its absention is risible ,shameful and blatant hypocrisy set against NZs opposition to the annexation of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine by Russia.

    It seems that no sooner than NZ/Aotearoa gets some international respect as an small independent nation, it then lamely and wilfully chucks it away. The racist colonial greaser rises to the surface.

  7. November 29, 2023 at 16:06

    The Israelis are on record repeatedly claiming the Mideast is theirs… from the Suez Canal to the Euphrates River. What makes you think they will stop with Gaza or the Golan Heights?

  8. November 29, 2023 at 15:45

    It is depressing to realize that international law is an illusion, at best an aspiration, but one laced through and through with hypocrisy, and that all judgments of international tribunals, starting with Nuremberg, therefore lack legitimacy. But then, legitimacy itself is irrelevant and only power counts in a world best described in Thomas Hobbes’ nightmares.

  9. November 29, 2023 at 15:33

    International Law is a farce. International laws are nothing more than agreements (treaties) between nations that can be made or broken at will. There is no such thing as a world government and there is no mechanism by which any intentional agreements can be enforced.

    Anything pretending to be a law that cannot be enforced is not a law.

    As a case in point, the U.S. will honor an international treaty if is advantageous and will break that treaty the moment it becomes disadvantageous. Just ask any indigenous American.

    • Riva Enteen
      November 30, 2023 at 09:11

      Farce is an understatement. At this point the UN is complicit in war crimes.


  10. Drew Hunkins
    November 29, 2023 at 14:59

    It’s been like this for several decades: UN General Assembly takes a principled vote on Zio lawlessness, sadism, arrogance, and paranoia. The U.S. and Israel then stand out virtually alone against the entire sane world in voting against genuine humanitarianism and international law.

    That the American people don’t realize how isolated they are when it comes to Zio violence and illegal land-grabbing is one of the biggest Western propaganda accomplishments in world history.

  11. JonnyJames
    November 29, 2023 at 14:02

    If the President does it, it’s not illegal. (Richard Nixon). When the imperial overlord, the “indispensable, exceptional nation” does it, its’ not illegal. International law and the “rule of law” is rendered a cruel joke.

    As Joe outlines, the US and the other Anglo-Saxons (five eyes) can routinely block the law, and block the will of the vast Global Majority. Of course the US (and UK) can and do routinely block UN resolutions. Besides, in an intergovernmental organization, if a nuclear-armed US refuses to obey their own laws, there is no way to force them. The Law of the Jungle prevails: the rule of brute violence and the threat of violence.

    Unilateral “sanctions” are acts of siege warfare and result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people. (Cuba, Venezuela, Iraq, etc,). These “sanctions” violate the UN Charter and a whole raft of other law, but no one can force the US to comply with the law. Since the US is a signatory to the UN Charter, the US violates its own law and constitution.

    For example, in recent weeks, the AECA is routinely ignored, yet few mention it. So much for the rule of law

Comments are closed.