US thanks Israel for helping it secure votes against Russia at UN

Israel had originally been reticent to support actions condemning Russia at the world body.

 Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya embraces with Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. (photo credit: ISRAEL MISSION TO THE UN)
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya embraces with Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.
(photo credit: ISRAEL MISSION TO THE UN)

The United States thanked Israel for helping it secure votes to ensure significant passage of a resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

Out of the UN 193 states, 141 approved the measure and only five — Russia, Syria, Belarus, Eritrea and North Korea — opposed it. 

The resolution called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a Russian withdrawal from all sovereign Ukrainian territory. It also condemned Russia's willingness to increase the readiness of its nuclear forces. 

Read more on the Russia-Ukraine War:

Israel had originally been reticent to support actions condemning Russia at the UN. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has attempted to mediate between Russia and Ukraine for a cease-fire and, as a result, has sought as natural a stance as possible while still supporting Ukraine.

Israel also wants to maintain its ties with Russia, particularly given its military presence in neighboring Syria. 

 Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya holds the Charter of the United Nations as he speaks at the 11th emergency special session of the 193-member UN General Assembly on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, US, March 2,  (credit: REUTERS/EDUARDO MUNOZ) Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya holds the Charter of the United Nations as he speaks at the 11th emergency special session of the 193-member UN General Assembly on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, US, March 2, (credit: REUTERS/EDUARDO MUNOZ)

Last week, Israel ignored a US request to add its name to a Biden administration-backed UN Security Council resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine. Dozens of non-UNSC member signed onto that text, which failed to pass.

Israel, however, was among close to 100 nations that co-signed the UNGA resolution. 

According to US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, Israel also worked behind the scene to help them secure votes for the resolution.

"Enormous thanks to Israel for helping rally more members to stand with Ukraine in today’s historic @UN vote. Over 141 votes to hold Russia accountable. Diplomacy matters," Nides stated. 

The US State Department also called out Israel, "We applaud Israel, Kuwait, [and] Qatar for standing [with] Ukraine [and] co-sponsoring the [UNGA] resolution condemning Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, [and] unjustified war against Ukraine. We are united [and] more resolved than ever to support Ukraine [and] stop Russia’s aggression."

Three of the four Abraham Accord signatories backed the US against Russia: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. Sudan, the fourth accords country, abstained. 

The UAE, which holds this month's rotating presidency at the UNSC, had abstained on the failed Security Council resolution, but then changed its stance in support of Ukraine. 

"We voted for this resolution and we join with member states in making this appeal to peace," the UAE envoy said. 

Other Middle East countries who supported the text were Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Oman.