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Fact Check: It Was Anti-Semitic Business as Usual at the U.N. Today

Every day Twitter discovers a new way to reveal American hysteria and ignorance. Today is no exception. In a move that should shock exactly no one, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly (128 to 9 with 35 abstentions) to demand that the United States rescind its December 6 statement declaring that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and setting in motion the process of moving America’s embassy to the Holy City. Here’s how the New York Times characterized the vote:

The resolution is nonbinding and therefore largely symbolic, but the lopsided vote indicated the extent to which the Trump administration’s decision to defy a 50-year international consensus on Jerusalem’s status has unsettled world politics and contributed to America’s diplomatic isolation.

Moreover, it noted that “major allies” like Britain, France, Germany, and Japan voted for the resolution. Other allies, like Australia and Canada, abstained. On Twitter, the phrase of the day was “stinging rebuke.”

Did the U.N. vote really “unsettle world politics,” or did it just confirm the anti-Semitic U.N. status quo? Let’s back up and provide some context. While the U.N. was aiming at an American action, the resolution at its core was anti-Israel. It was anti-U.S. only to the extent that America was perceived to have taken action benefiting Israel. And if there is one thing the U.N. does reliably, it’s vote in lockstep against our strongest Middle East ally.

It’s so lockstep and so common that Congress requires the State Department to keep tabs on all anti-Israel General Assembly votes and publish the results. To understand how the nations of the world normally vote, I went and looked at the State Department’s report for every single year of the Obama administration. Each report contains a helpful table illustrating how each country voted and the percentage of the time they voted with the U.S. You can access them all here.

A few things stand out. First, the United States actually achieved more support (in both votes and abstentions) than it typically receives. Look at the reports. For example, in 2016 there were more than nine votes against an anti-Israel resolution only once out of 18 resolutions — and then there were only 11 votes. In 2015, there were again more than nine votes on only once out of 18 18 opportunities.

What about the votes of our great allies singled out by the Times and by Twitter? What about Britain France, German, Japan, and India. Here’s the percentage of the time they voted with the U.S. on anti-Israel resolutions:

Britain: 2016: 7.7 percent. 2015: 7.7 percent. 2014: 7.7 percent. 2013: 7.1 percent. 2012: 0 percent. 2011: 0 percent. 2010: 7.1 percent. 2009: 0 percent.

France: 2016: 7.7 percent. 2015: 7.7 percent. 2014: 7.7 percent. 2013: 7.1 percent. 2012: 0 percent. 2011: 0 percent. 2010: 0 percent. 2009 0 percent.

Germany: 2016: 7.7 percent. 2015: 7.7 percent. 2014: 7.7 percent. 2013: 7.1 percent. 2012: 0 percent. 2011: 0 percent. 2010: 7.1 percent. 2009: 7.1 percent.

Japan: Our great and stalwart ally voted only one time with the U.S. on an anti-Israel resolution, in 2010.

India: Our great and stalwart ally never voted with the U.S. on an anti-Israel resolution during the entire Obama administration.

At no point did any of these nations vote with the U.S. more than once per year. 

The bottom line is abundantly obvious. The U.N. is disproportionately obsessed with Israel, and America’s closest NATO allies — including Britain, France, and Germany — disgracefully join the pile-on. Today’s vote wasn’t a “stinging rebuke” of the United States. It was anti-Semitic business as usual at the United Nations. The United States once again stood with Israel, and the rest of the world once again singled out the world’s only Jewish state for special scorn. Critics will have to look elsewhere for evidence of Trump administration failure. Today, it took its place alongside its predecessors in defense of a nation that all too often stands nearly alone

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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