Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May/June 2005, page 14
This article was updated on January 10, 2017.
An Updated List of Vetoes Cast by the United States to Shield Israel from Criticism by the U.N. Security Council
By Donald Neff
Prior to the Nixon administration, the United States had never employed its veto power in the U.N. Security Council. It was first used March 17, 1970 over Southern Rhodesia. The second U.S. veto came two years later, when Washington sought to protect Israel from a resolution condemning Israel for one of its attacks on its neighbors. Since then, the United States has cast its veto a total of 39 times to shield Israel from Security Council draft resolutions that condemned, deplored, denounced, demanded, affirmed, endorsed, called on and urged Israel to obey the world body.
- Sept. 10, 1972—Condemned Israel’s attacks against Southern Lebanon and Syria; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention
- July 26, 1973—Affirmed the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, statehood and equal protections; vote: 13 to 1, with China absent.
- Dec. 8, 1975—Condemned Israel’s air strikes and attacks in Southern Lebanon and its murder of innocent civilians; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention.
- Jan. 26, 1976—Called for self-determination of Palestinian people; vote: 9 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- March 25, 1976—Deplored Israel’s altering of the status of Jerusalem, which is recognized as an international city, by most world nations and the United Nation’s; vote: 14 to 1.
- June 29, 1976—Affirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- April 30, 1980—Endorsed self-determination for the Palestinian people; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- Jan. 20, 1982—Demanded Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan Heights; vote: 9 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- April 2, 1982—Condemned Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and its refusal to abide by the Geneva Convention protocols of civilized nations; vote: 14 to 1.
- April 20, 1982—Condemned an Israeli soldier who shot 11 Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount of the Haram al-Sharaf near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem; vote: 14 to 1.
- June 8, 1982—Urged sanctions against Israel if it did not withdraw from its invasion of Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
- June 26, 1982—Urged sanctions against Israel if it did not withdraw from its invasion of Beirut, Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
- Aug. 6, 1982—Urged cut-off of economic aid to Israel if it refused to withdraw from its occupation of Lebanon; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- Aug. 2, 1983—Condemned continued Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip, denouncing them as an obstacle to peace; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention.
- Sept. 6, 1984—Deplored Israel’s brutal massacre of Arabs in Lebanon and urged its withdrawal; vote: 14 to 1.
- March 12, 1985—Condemned Israeli brutality in Southern Lebanon and denounced Israel’s “Iron Fist” policy of repression; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- Sept. 13, 1985—Denounced Israel’s violation of human rights in the occupied territories; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- Jan. 17, 1986—Deplored Israel’s violence in Southern Lebanon; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- Jan. 30, 1986—Deplored Israel’s activities in occupied Arab East Jerusalem which threaten the sanctity of Muslim holy sites; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention.
- Feb. 6, 1986—Condemned Israel’s hijacking of a Libyan passenger airplane on Feb. 4; vote: 10 to 1, with 1 abstention.
- Jan. 18, 1988—Deplored Israeli attacks against Lebanon and its measures and practices against the civilian population of Lebanon; vote: 13 to 1, with Britain abstaining.
- Feb. 1, 1988—Called on Israel to abandon its policies against the Palestinian uprising that violate the rights of occupied Palestinians, abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and formalize a leading role for the United Nations in future peace negotiations; vote: 14 to 1.
- April 15, 1988—Urged Israel to accept back deported Palestinians, condemned Israel’s shooting of civilians, called on Israel to uphold the Fourth Geneva Convention and called for a peace settlement under U.N. auspices; vote: 14 to 1.
- May 10, 1988—Condemned Israel’s May 2 incursion into Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
- Dec. 14, 1988—Deplored Israel’s Dec. 9 commando raids on Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
- Feb. 17, 1989—Deplored Israel’s repression of the Palestinian uprising and called on Israel to respect the human rights of the Palestinians; vote: 14 to 1.
- June 9, 1989—Deplored Israel’s violation of the human rights of the Palestinians; vote: 14 to 1.
- Nov. 7, 1989—Demanded Israel return property confiscated from Palestinians during a tax protest and allow a fact-finding mission to observe Israel’s crackdown on the Palestinian uprising; vote: 14 to 1.
- May 31, 1990—Called for a fact-finding mission on abuses against Palestinians in Israeli-occupied lands; vote: 14 to 1.
- May 17, 1995—Declared invalid Israel’s expropriation of land in East Jerusalem and in violation of Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva convention; vote: 14 to 1.
- March 7, 1997—Called on Israel to refrain from settlement activity and all other actions in the occupied territories; vote:14 to 1.
- March 21, 1997—Demanded Israel cease construction of the settlement Har Homa (called Jabal Abu Ghneim by the Palestinians) in East Jerusalem and cease all other settlement activity in the occupied territories; vote: 13 to 1, with one abstention.
- March 27, 2001—Called for the deployment of a U.N. observer force in the West Bank and Gaza; vote: 9 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- Dec. 14, 2001—Condemned all acts of terror, the use of excessive force and destruction of properties and encouraged establishment of a monitoring apparatus; vote: 12-1, with 2 abstentions.
- Dec. 20, 2002—Expressed deep concern over Israel’s killing of U.N. employees and Israel’s destruction of the U.N. World Food Program warehouse in Beit Lahiya and demanded that Israel refrain from the excessive and disproportionate use of force in the occupied territories; vote: 12 to 1, with 2 abstentions.
- Sept. 16, 2003—Reaffirmed the illegality of deportation of any Palestinian and expressed concern about the possible deportation of Yasser Arafat; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- Oct. 14, 2003—Raised concerns about Israel’s building of a securiy fence through the occupied West Bank; vote 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- March 25, 2004—Condemned Israel for killing Palestinian spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in a missile attack in Gaza; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- Oct. 5, 2004—Condemned Israel’s military incursion in Gaza, causing many civilian deaths and extensive damage to property; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
- July 13, 2006—Condemned Israel's military assault on Gaza, and called on the Palestinian Authority to take immediate action to bring an end to the firing of rockets into Israel; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- November 11, 2006—Condemned Israeli military operations in Gaza, as well as Palestinian rocket fire into Israel, while calling for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
- February 18, 2011—Condemned all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal; vote 14 to 1.
Donald Neff is author of the Warriors trilogy, Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945, and 50 Years of Israel, all available through the AET Book Club.