Resistance to occupation is not terrorism. It’s a national duty.

Resistance to occupation is not terrorism. 
It’s a national duty.

It was a surprise for many observers that the United States recently failed in its bid to pass a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly to label the Palestinian resistance as terrorism. The US resolution, championed by Ambassador Nikki Haley, fell short of the required two-thirds majority.

The United States forgot the fact that the UN General Assembly has passed hundreds of resolutions condemning Israel for its repeated aggression against the Palestinians, and that these resolutions were adopted by an overwhelming majority. Only Israel, the United States and a handful of other countries voted against these resolutions.

It is a known fact that the decisions of the General Assembly are nonbinding, but they do have legal and moral value and carry some political weight. If the US resolution had succeeded and had been adopted by the General Assembly, how could this be reconciled with the hundreds of resolutions condemning Israel? In what sense and in what manner can one demand the implementation of such a resolution while ignoring the fact that hundreds of resolutions have condemned the Israeli act of driving Palestinian inhabitants out of their homeland and occupying it through aggression?

Zionists were brought in from all over the world to replace the real owners of the land who were either killed or driven out of their homes, ending up languishing in squalid camps in neighboring countries. This would not have happened without the approval and blessings of the oppressive Western countries, especially Great Britain. It was the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour who made the disastrous declaration about the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, by which the British gave what they did not really own to those who did not deserve it.

After the victory of the Allies over the Ottoman Empire, Britain placed Palestine under the British Mandate so as to enable the Jews to eventually occupy the land. The Western support for the occupying state continued and the support came from the United States, especially after the war in 1967 that resulted in the Israeli occupation of the remaining Palestinian territories from three Arab countries. The Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip came under Israeli occupation following the capture of the West Bank, which was under the Jordanian administration, and the Gaza Strip, which was under the Egyptian administration.

The UN Security Council passed resolutions criminalizing the invasion of the territories of others by force, the most important among them were the resolutions 242 and 338, but Israel has not implemented any of these resolutions, and it has continued to receive the support and protection of the United States.

Why did the United States go to the General Assembly instead of the Security Council, as the resolutions of the latter are binding and their influence is stronger than that of the General Assembly? Of course, all of the resolutions that have come before the Security Council in favor of condemning Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians have been met with American vetoes. The United States has disregarded the merits and fairness of these resolutions and has made its veto a tool to disable them when it finds that these resolutions do not serve the interests of Israel.

Therefore, perhaps the reason the US did not go to the Security Council to condemn Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation is that it feared that it would not get the sufficient number of votes to pass the resolution or that one of the permanent members of the Security Council would vote against it for one reason or another. Perhaps the resolution was an attempt by US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to curry favor with the Israeli lobby. It is said that she has announced her decision to quit the key diplomatic post at the international organization with an eye on the presidency of the United States in future.

Palestinians and Arabs have the right to rejoice in the fall of this unjust resolution that was aimed at condemning resistance to the Israeli occupation, which is considered the oldest and worst occupation on the face of the earth. All divine rules and international laws make resisting occupation - whatever it may be - a religious, national and humanitarian duty. If this is the situation, then what about the despicable Israeli occupation that kills Palestinian men, women and children, demolishes their homes, drives them out of their land and steals their property to build illegal settlements that cut off the land on which the Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, is supposed to be established.

Unfortunately, many countries yielded to American pressure and voted in favor of the resolution or abstained from voting, sacrificing the principles and legitimate rights of the Palestinians. Many of these countries were once under occupation, and they managed to win their independence only through continuous struggle, endurance and resistance.

Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi is a former Saudi diplomat who specializes in Southeast Asian affairs. He can be reached at