Netanyahu: Even Though We Lost Hamas Condemnation Vote, We Won

An Israeli tractor extinguishes a fire started by a kite with attached burning cloth launched by Palestinians from Gaza, on the Israel and Gaza border, in June. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the countries that voted to condemn Hamas terrorism in the United Nations General Assembly vote Thursday. Although the plenum did not pass the U.S. and EU-sponsored resolution because the required two thirds majority was not achieved, the fact that 87 countries voted to condemn Hamas was precedent-setting, Netanyahu said.

“The resolution to condemn Hamas garnered a large majority of nations who stood against the terror group,” Netanyahu said. “We did not achieve the two-thirds majority but I praise the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas. This is an important achievement for the U.S. and Israel. I thank the U.S. administration and Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the U.N., for her initiative.”

Speaking to Reshet Bet Friday morning, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon concurred with Netanyahu’s sentiments. “We won the battle,” he said. “As far as we are concerned the fact that everyone was talking about condemning Hamas was a victory. In cases like this, the Arab league votes as a bloc,” so winning such votes is very difficult. Nevertheless, “we put Hamas in a corner and unveiled its true nature,” Danon added.

In a social media message, Danon said that “for the first time at the U.N., a record 87 countries condemned Hamas for its rocket fire and use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes against Israel. I thank Nikki Haley for her hard work in forming an unprecedented coalition. We will continue to fight for the truth.”

Despite being at odds with the Gaza terror organization, the Palestinian Authority praised the decision not to condemn Hamas. In a statement, the PA Presidential Office offered its congratulations and thanks to the countries that did not vote to condemn Hamas. “We will not allow the Palestinian national struggle to be condemned,” Kan News quoted the PA as saying.

Besides the U.S. and EU countries, the resolution to condemn Hamas was supported by Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the Marshall Islands and Nauru. Voting against the condemnation were Arab League states – including Oman, which just recently hosted Netanyahu – as well as Russia, China, Iran, and Nigeria.

In a social media message, Haley said that supporters of the resolution on Thursday “spoke some hard truths. We can’t talk about peace in the Middle East until we can agree on a basic condemnation of Hamas and its terrorism. The U.N. had a chance to do that today, and it failed.”