U.S. Abstention at the UN Undermined Support for Israel—And Stated U.S. Policy

Since October 7, the United States has firmly backed Israel at the United Nations amid mounting international demands for a ceasefire by repeatedly vetoing resolutions that did not mention the hostages or condition a ceasefire on their release. This week, the Biden administration broke with that policy, seemingly choosing consensus at the United Nations Security Council over sup-port for its partner. The U.S. decision to abstain from voting on, rather than veto, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2728 enabled the resolution to pass. UNSCR 2728 called both for a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the hostages but did not condemn Hamas or specifically condition the ceasefire on the release of hostages. Hamas has already seized on the resolution’s passage as it seeks to leverage the mounting international criticism against Israel to achieve its objectives.