2023 UNGA Resolutions on Israel vs. Rest of the World

• 2023 UNGA Resolutions on Israel: 15
• 2023 UNGA Resolutions on Rest of the World: 7

 

In 2023, EU member states voted for one resolution each on the human rights situations in Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, Crimea, the U.S. for its embargo on Cuba, and Russia for its war in Ukraine. See second table at bottom, showing resolution texts and votes. By contrast, EU states often voted in favor of nearly all 15 resolutions singling out Israel.

These same EU states have failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution this year on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries.

Below are the resolutions on Israel that have been adopted in the UN General Assembly in 2023. We note that the chart below lists 15 resolutions on Israel. However, the resolution titled Assistance to the Palestinian People is more balanced than the others and is adopted by consensus. Therefore, it is deemed non-condemnatory.

UN Watch opposes the adoption of one-sided and counterproductive resolutions at the United Nation. We have launched a campaign urging countries to oppose them.

Click here to take action: Demand that your country end its biased votes that demonize Israel.

 

2023 RESOLUTIONS SINGLING OUT ISRAEL

 

Resolution Extracts Analysis
“Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” [A/C.4/78/L.13]

4th Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023)

  • 85 Yes 
  • 13 No (Including Austria, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, UK, & US)
  • 72 Abstain

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 7, 2023)

  • 86 Yes
  • 12 No
  • 75 Abstain
“Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period…” Perpetuates committee with blatantly biased mandate of examining only Israeli actions, but ignoring Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah terrorism. Contrary to international law and resolution 242, claims that occupation is itself a violation. Resolution falsely accuses Israel of indiscriminate force against civilians and provocations and incitements against “the holy places.” At the same time, it completely ignores Palestinian use of the Al Aqsa Mosque as a vehicle for antisemitic incitement, thereby also denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. Furthermore, the one-sided accusation against Israel disregards Palestinian attacks against Jewish holy sites, such as Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

“The occupied Syrian Golan” [A/C.4/78/L.14]

4th Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023)

  • 146 Yes (Including UK and all of the EU)
  • 2 No (US & Israel)
  • 23 Abstain (Including Canada & Australia)

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 7, 2023)

  • 151 Yes
  • 2 No (Israel & US)
  • 23 Abstain

 

“Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void…” Ignores the existence of the Syrian Civil War and its security implications for Israel and the civilians of the Golan Heights. Also ignores Syria’s history of shelling Israeli communities, its leader’s calls for a “war of annihilation” against Israel, and Syria’s 1967 aggression that led to its loss of the territory. Also neglects Syria’s sponsorship of the enemies of the peace process, and its support for terrorism. Falsely claims that Israel is oppressing and imposing Israeli citizenship on the Arab population of the Golan Heights.
“Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”  [A/C.4/78/L.15]

4th Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023):

  • 145 Yes (Including UK & most of EU)
  • 7 No (Including Canada, Hungary, Israel, & US)
  • 18 Abstain

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 7, 2023)

  • 149 Yes (Including UK and most of EU)
  • 6 No (Including Israel, Hungary, US, and Canada)
  • 19 Abstain

 

“Reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development…” Adopts Palestinian position on issues that Oslo Accords left to negotiations, such as settlements and borders. Israel is treated with disdain in comparison to praise and deference to governments in other country resolutions. Makes sweeping legal pronouncements on disputed matters, for example by accusing Israel of violating international law for ordering demolitions of illegally built structures in territory over which it has administrative control. Makes an immoral equivalence between Palestinian terror and violence and Israeli countermeasures. Specifically condemns incitement by “Israeli settlers,” but fails to expressly condemn widespread, official terrorist and antisemitic incitement by Palestinian officials, media and education.
“Assistance to Palestine refugees” [A/C.4/78/L.11]

4th Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023):

  • 161 Yes (Including UK, Canada, & all of EU)
  • 1 No (Israel)
  • 11 Abstain (Including US)

 

Plenary Vote (Dec. 7, 2023):

  • 168 Yes (Including UK, Canada, & all of EU)
  • 1 No (Israel)
  • 10 Abstain (Including US)

 

“Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions…” Resolution serves Arab states that seek to preserve Palestinians as pawns in political campaign to delegitimize Israel. Intent and effect of singling out Palestinian from all refugee claims in the world is to isolate and demonize Israel. Omits any reference to Lebanon’s discrimination against Palestinian refugees in that country or the Syrian Assad regime’s collective punishment of Palestinian refugees in that country and their treatment as second-class citizens. Redundant to three other resolutions adopted on same day (see in this chart) dealing with refugees and UNRWA.
“Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” [A/C.4/78/L.10]

4th Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023)

  • 160 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 4 No (Including US, Israel, & Canada)
  • 7 Abstain

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 7, 2023):

  • 165 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 4 No (Including US, Israel, & Canada)
  • 6 Abstain

 

 

“Reiterates its call upon Israel to fully lift the restrictions impeding or delaying the import of necessary construction materials and supplies for the reconstruction and repair of the remaining damaged or destroyed refugee shelters, and for the implementation of suspended and urgently needed civilian infrastructure

projects in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip…”

Perpetuates anomaly whereby Palestinians are the only people not served by UNHCR but instead by special agency. Resolution makes one-sided condemnations of Israeli actions, but silent on Palestinian terrorism against Israelis and abuses of Palestinian forces against their own citizens. Ignores UNRWA admission that members of Hamas, a terrorist organization, were on its payroll. Resolution calls on Israel to allow construction materials into the Gaza Strip yet fails to acknowledge Hamas use of such materials to build attack tunnels and other terror infrastructure.
“Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” [A/C.4/78/L.12]

4th Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023)

  • 156 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 6 No (Including US, Israel, & Canada)
  • 8 Abstain

Plenary vote (Dec. 7, 2023):

  • 163 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 5 No (Including US, Israel, & Canada)
  • 9 Abstain
“Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice…” One-sided resolution ignores claims of 900,000 Jewish refugees displaced from Arab lands. Repeats statements previously established for purpose of censuring Israel and is redundant to other resolutions. Prejudges negotiations.
“The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”  [A/C.1/78/L.2]

1st Cttee Vote (Oct. 27, 2023)

  • 148 Yes
  • 6 No (Including Canada, Israel & US)
  • 28 Abstain

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 4, 2023) 

  • 151 Yes
  • 6 No (Including Canada, Israel, & US)
  • 27 Abstain
“Recalling that Israel remains the only State in the Middle East that has not yet become a party to the Treaty…” Resolution singles out Israel while ignoring menacing actions of other states, including Iran’s illegal efforts to acquire nuclear weapons in defiance of Security Council and IAEA resolutions. Ignores overt and repeated threats against the existence of Israel by neighboring states in the region.
“Oil slick on Lebanese shores” [A/C.2/78/L.21]

2nd Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023)

  • 158 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 7 No (Including Australia, Canada, Israel, & US)
  • 6 Abstain

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 19, 2023)

  • 164 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 7 No (Including Australia, Canada, Israel, and US)
  • 6 Abstain
“Reiterates, for the eighteenth consecutive year, its deep concern about the adverse implications of the destruction by the Israeli Air Force of the oil storage tanks in the direct vicinity of the Lebanese Jiyeh electric power plant for the achievement of sustainable development in Lebanon…” One-sided resolution completely ignores Hezbollah’s role in launching hostilities, firing 4,000 rockets and burning 500,000 trees in Northern Israel. Ignores Lebanon’s non-compliance with SC Resolutions on dismantling Hezbollah. Singles out Israel as only country to be censured under Sustainable Development agenda item.
“Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” [A/C.2/78/L.44]

2nd Cttee Vote (Nov. 9, 2023)

  • 151 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 6 No (Including Canada, US, & Israel)
  • 11 Abstain (Including Australia)

 

Plenary vote (Dec. 19, 2023)

  • 158 Yes (including UK & all of EU)
  • 6 No (Including Canada, US, & Israel)
  • 13 Abstain (Including Australia)

 

 

“Expressing its grave concern also about the widespread destruction caused by Israel, the occupying Power, to vital infrastructure, including water pipelines, sewage networks and electricity networks, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory…” One-sided resolution denies Israel’s right to self-defense by describing every preventative measure as conspiracy against Palestinian resources. Omits mention of Palestinian terrorism or any Palestinian obligation. Also omits Palestinian harm to natural resources, such as destruction of Gaza greenhouses delivered intact by Israel; Hamas’ commandeering of international aid money to fund the construction of terror tunnels rather than to rebuild destroyed infrastructure; environmental pollution caused by Palestinian tire burning; destruction of flora and fauna with arson balloons and kites; and refusal to develop their own water resources and deal with their own sewage as required by the Oslo Accords.
“The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” [A/C.3/78/L.24]

3rd Cttee Vote (Nov. 10, 2023)

  • 168 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 5 No (Including US & Israel)
  • 9 Abstain

Plenary vote: (Dec. 19, 2023)

  • 172 Yes (Including UK & all of EU)
  • 4 No (Including US & Israel)
  • 10 Abstain
“Recalling the conclusion of the Court, in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004, that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, along with measures previously taken, severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination…” Redundantly asserts a principle that Israel has already recognized. Out of hundreds of self-determination claims worldwide, resolution singles out one: the claim against Israel. Omits Palestinian obligation under the Road Map to dismantle terrorist infrastructure before a state is to be created. The Committee already adopts a self-determination resolution for the whole world titled “Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination” while singling out Israel with this one resolution for Palestinian self-determination.
“Assistance to the Palestinian people” 

Plenary Vote (Dec. 8, 2023)

Adopted by consensus

“Aware that development is difficult under occupation and is best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability. Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership…” This resolution is more balanced when compared to the other anti-Israel texts. However, its references to the difficulty of occupation for Palestinians indirectly implicates Israel. No other occupied or disputed territory throughout the world receives an annual resolution of this type, making it uniquely critical of Israel. This resolution is typically passed by consensus, without a vote.
The Syrian Golan[A/Res/78/11]

Plenary Vote (Nov. 29, 2023)

  • 91 Yes
  • 8 No (Including Canada, US, UK, Israel, & Australia)
  • 62 Abstain
“Deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967…” Redundant to “the Occupied Syrian Golan.” Oblivious to genocidal massacres taking place now in Syria and its security implications for Israel and the civilians of the Golan Heights. Ignores Syria’s history of shelling Israeli communities, its leader’s calls for a “war of annihilation” against Israel, and Syria’s 1967 aggression that led to its loss of the territory. Calls on Israel to negotiate with Syria and Lebanon while not making the same demand of those countries.
Protection of civilians and upholding legal and
humanitarian obligations 
[A/ES-10/L.25]Plenary Vote (Oct. 27, 2023)

  • 120 Yes
  • 14 No (Including Austria, US, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, & Israel)
  • 45 Abstain (Including Australia, Canada, UK, Tunisia, Ukraine, and several EU countries)
“Expressing grave concern at the latest escalation of violence since the 7 October 2023 attack and the grave deterioration of the situation in the region, in particular in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel…” Outrageously, the resolution failed to condemn Hamas for its October 7th massacre of 1400 Israelis, or for its abduction of more than 200 Israelis including children and babies, or even to mention the word Hamas, after a Canadian amendment to add these elements was voted down.

The resolution also failed to recognize Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorism.

“Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations”  [A/ES-10/L.27)

Plenary Vote (Dec. 12, 2023)

  • 153 Yes (Including France, Canada, and Australia)
  • 10 No (Including Israel, the US, Austria, and Czech Republic)
  • 23 Abstain (Including Germany, UK, Netherlands, Italy,  Hungary, and Ukraine)
“Expressing grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population…” Although this resolution does demand the release of all hostages, it fails to specify that they are Israeli hostages being held by Hamas. Hamas is not mentioned once in the resolution. In fact, a proposed amendment that would add the phrase “held by Hamas and other groups” was rejected.

This resolution fails to mention the October 7th massacre or recognize Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorism.

 

“Proposed programme budget for 2024: section 26,
Palestine refugees humanitarian obligations”
 
[A/RES/78/251)Plenary Vote (Dec. 22, 2023)

  • 137 Yes (Including most of the E.U. & the U.K.)
  • 2 No (Australia & Israel)
  • 22 Abstain (Including the U.S., Canada, Ukraine, and New Zealand)
“Recognizes the extraordinary humanitarian work that the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East performs; ”

“Condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of Agency staff and
refugees sheltered under the United Nations flag;”

“Condemns in the strongest possible terms the destruction of buildings
under the United Nations flag;”

This resolution, adopted in the context of Israel’s post-October 7th war against Hamas, clearly targets Israel even though it does not mention either Israel or Hamas by name. It strongly condemns the killing of those sheltering in UN premises and the destruction of UN property. It also calls to respect civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools.

Since Israel is the party attacking in Gaza and the resolution fails to hold Hamas accountable either for starting the war or for embedding itself in the Gaza civilian infrastructure in violation of international law, including by launching rockets from, storing weapons in, and constructing tunnels under schools and hospitals, there is no doubt the condemnation is directed at Israel.

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTIONS ON REST OF THE WORLD

 

Resolution Votes
“Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” [A/C.3/78/L.39]

Main Sponsors: European Union

3rd Committee Vote (Nov. 15, 2023):

Adopted by consensus 

Plenary Vote (Dec. 19, 2023):

Adopted by consensus

“Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” [A/C.3/78/L.41]

Main Sponsor: Canada

3rd Committee Vote (Nov. 15, 2023):

  • 80 Yes (including US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Israel)
  • 29 No (including Russia, Iran, Iraq, India, DPRK, and China)
  • 65 Abstain (including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Qatar, and Tunisia)

Plenary Vote (Dec. 19, 2023):

  • 79 Yes (Including UK, US, Israel, & all of EU)
  • 30 No (Including China, Iran, Russia, India, and Syria)
  • 68 Abstain (Including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, & UAE)

 

“Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” [A/C.3/78/L.42]

Main Sponsor: Ukraine

3rd Committee Vote (Nov. 15, 2023):

  • 77 Yes (including UK, US, Turkiye, Canada, Ukraine, and Israel)
  • 14 No (including China, Iran, Russia, Syria)
  • 79 Abstain (including Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Mexico, and South Africa)

Plenary Vote (Dec. 19. 2023):

  • 78 Yes (Including US, UK, Israel, and Canada)
  • 15 No (Including China, Cuba, & Russia)
  • 79 Abstain (Including Brazil, Colombia, & India)
“Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar” [A/C.3/78/L.40]

Main Sponsors: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union

3rd Committee Vote (Nov. 15, 2023):

Adopted by consensus

 

Plenary Vote (Dec. 19, 2023):

Adopted by consensus

“Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic” [A/C.3/78/L.43]

Main Sponsor: United States and Qatar

3rd Committee Vote (Nov. 15, 2023)

  • 86 Yes (Including US, UK, Israel, and Canada)
  • 15 No (Including China, Iran, and Russia)
  • 73 Abstain (Including Brazil, India, and Saudi Arabia)

Plenary Vote (Dec. 19, 2023):

  • 88 Yes (Including US, UK, Canada, & Israel)
  • 16 No (Including China, Russia, Bolivia, and Iran)
  • 73 Abstain (Including Brazil, India, & Saudi Arabia)
“Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine”  [A/RES/ES-11/6]

Main Sponsor: Ukraine

Adopted by Plenary Vote (Feb. 23, 2023):

  • 141 Yes
  • 7 No (Including Russia, Syria, and North Korea)
  • 32 Abstain
“Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” [A/77/L.5]

 

Adopted by Plenary Vote (Nov. 2, 2023)

  • 187 Yes
  • 2 No (US & Israel)
  • 1 Abstain (Ukraine)

 

UN Watch