News Release

UN Vote on Jerusalem: U.S. as “Capo dei Capi”


C-SPAN has been covering the UN General Assembly debate on a resolution demanding that countries abide by Security Council resolutions on Jerusalem. The representative of Venezuela spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, which was backed by the South African delegation and other speakers. The final vote was 128-9-35, achieving the two-thirds required under the “Uniting for Peace” procedure.

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, served as legal adviser to the PLO. His books include the Palestinian Right of Return under International Law. He recently wrote the piece “Trump’s National Security Strategy: More unlimited imperialism.”

He noted that the General Assembly resolution being voted on today at the United Nations is under a special “Uniting for Peace” procedure, giving it greater legal force. He advocates greater use of Uniting for Peace by UN member states (including admission of Palestine to the United Nations) and said today: “In its Certain Expenses Advisory Opinion (1962) the International Court of Justice upheld the legality of the Uniting for Peace Resolution. As a matter of fact, it was originally introduced and first used by the United States government in order to overcome the veto by the former Soviet Union at the United Nations Security Council. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

“Recognition of Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem violates the U.S. government’s own longstanding Stimson Doctrine (1932), which forbids recognition of any legal consequences as a result of the use of force.”

Paul is author of the just-released book Of Foxes and Chickens: Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council. He said today: “Coverage of the UN Security Council does not disclose what is really going on in this secretive and despotic institution. Washington causes a stir when it casts a public veto such as the one on Jerusalem, but in fact it uses its veto power daily in private sessions and it regularly dictates Council action (or inaction) in line with U.S. ‘interests.’ The Council is a mafia-like body in which a single member imposes itself on all the rest. In contrast to Britain, France, Russia and China, the U.S. is the capo dei capi — the boss of all the bosses.

“The Trump administration is openly threatening to withhold U.S. foreign aid to other states if they do not follow U.S. dictates. That threat is less hollow than some think. After a key vote in the Security Council targeting Iraq in 1990, the U.S. punished Yemen (one of the world’s poorest countries) by openly cutting off all U.S. aid. “That was the most expensive vote you ever cast,’ said the U.S. ambassador to his Yemeni counterpart in the Council chamber.

“Washington uses punishments and rewards constantly to get its way. It has even forced some countries to withdraw their ambassadors, as it did with envoys from Canada, Chile, and Guinea, among others. Mexican Ambassador, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, was forced out in 2003 around the invasion of Iraq, and he caused a stir when he wrote a public letter to the press on the matter. The U.S. has also conducted illegal surveillance against other missions to the UN, as the Katharine Gun case highlighted.”