US Rejects Ceasefire Proposal and Approves New Arms Legislation

( – The US decision to veto a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution on December 8, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, has garnered harsh criticism from several human rights organizations, world leaders, and UN officials. Additionally, on December 9, the State Department bypassed what is typically a mandatory Congressional review of a large arms sale to Israel, allowing the transfer of nearly 14,000 of the requested 45,000 rounds of tank ammunition for Merkava tanks used by Israeli forces.

The UN resolution proposed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) failed to pass after the US veto and an abstention from the vote by the United Kingdom. The US justified its position by explaining that Israel could not leave Hamas in a position to perpetrate another devastating attack, saying a ceasefire now would only delay the beginning of yet another war in the region.

Yet, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, claimed the US had become complicit in Israeli crimes against humanity by its veto in the UNSC, echoing criticisms by other world leaders. Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, issued a scathing rebuke on X, formerly Twitter, calling the veto a “morally indefensible” display of “callous disregard for civilian suffering in [the] face of staggering death toll[s].” Likewise, Executive Director Avril Benoit of Doctors Without Borders took to X to protest the hypocritical US position of selectively applying humanitarian law and relief.

The same day, the State Department asked House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committees to review an urgent proposal to approve the sale to Israel of 45,000 tank shells, worth approximately $500 million. Former State Department official Josh Paul, who resigned in October after seeing the administration’s response to the Hamas attack, pointed out that the State Department was pressuring Congress for an immediate decision.

However, late Friday evening, Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified Congress that he had determined an emergency required the immediate sale of almost 14,000 anti-tank shells to safeguard US national security interests, thus bypassing Congressional approval on the sale worth approximately $106.5 million.

While Blinken’s move has precedent in recent history, Congress could scrutinize and censure him for the decision. Critics warn the US must rein in Israel’s civilian casualty toll or face the continuing consolidation of opposition forces threatening regional and global peace.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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