Data: Singapore has consistently voted against Israel in the UN

Singapore has consistently voted against Israel at the UN General Assembly.

Accoring to data from UN Watch Database, an Israel-backed organisation based in Geneva, Singapore voted against Israel in 133 resolutions and abstain on 5, dating back to since 2015.

Singapore’s voting record at the UN over the decades include resolutions that reject Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank.

“We have expressed our firm opposition to violations of international law and to unilateral measures which imperil the prospects for peace,” said Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

The list of resolutions can be viewed here.

Pictured: Summary of Singapore’s voting records against Israel

Minister Shanmugam: Singapore’s vote in favour of UN resolution shows clear stand on Israel-Hamas conflict

Singapore’s vote in favour of the United Nations resolution to protect civilians and uphold legal and humanitarian obligations amid conflict in the Gaza Strip is a “major vote”, with the country taking a clear stand and expressing its concerns at the grave situation on the ground, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said last month (Oct 29)

“The resolution expressed grave concern at the escalation of violence since Oct 7. It called for immediate, durable, sustained humanitarian truce, leading to a cessation of hostilities. And it called for immediate, continuous and unhindered provision of essential supplies to the civilians in Gaza,” he said.

“And it called for Israel to rescind its evacuation order in the Gaza Strip, and it rejected the forced transfer of Palestinians and reaffirmed that the solution to the conflict should be through a peaceful two-state solution.”

Israel condemned more at the UN than any other nations

The United Nations General Assembly passed more resolutions – 140 in total – critical of Israel than against all other nations combined in 2022 – mainly over its treatment of Palestinians, its relationships with neighboring countries, and other alleged wrongdoings.

The UN has a long history of passing resolutions against Israel, and Israel and the US accuse it of bias. Israel has accused the Palestinians, who have nonmember observer state status at the UN, of trying to use the world body to circumvent peace negotiations.

Singapore’s principled approach on the Israel-Hamas conflict

Dr Balakrishnan reiterated that the Israel-Hamas conflict is a reminder that Singapore does have national interests at stake in the conflict.

“We must reject terrorism in all its forms. No excuses, no ifs or buts, no short-term political advantage — reject terrorism,” he said. “If attacked, all of us here must give the Government of the day the ability to exercise the right of self-defence.”

“But even when it does, we will expect the Government of the day to uphold international law,” he added.

“And as Singaporeans, we will continue to extend humanitarian assistance and protection to all civilians. We should support peaceful resolution of disputes. And we must nurture and protect our own precious cohesion and harmony.”

The approach:

1. Zero tolerance approach towards terrorism

Singapore categorically rejects terrorism not solely out of sympathy for victims overseas but also because it is a clear and present threat to the Republic.

2. Legitimate and inherent right to defend themselves

This right, as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter, is “very important” for Singapore because if the nation is attacked, it will “certainly assert and exercise” this right, said Dr Balakrishnan

3. Principles of necessity and proportionality in exercising right of self-defence

Dr Balakrishnan said that the principles of necessity and proportionality, along with the laws of war, must be abided by all countries if they take military action in exercising the right of self-defence.

Alleged violation of international humanitarian law should be investigated in accordance with international law, he added.

Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007 after Hamas came to power in the Palestinian Territory. On Oct 9, Israel announced a “total” blockade on the strip following the Hamas attacks.

4. Immediate humanitarian assistance to civilian population needed

Singapore has called on all parties — particularly Israel and Egypt, which share immediate borders with Gaza — to enable assistance to reach civilians immediately.

Singapore also supports efforts by the UN and other organisations, including contributing seed funding of S$300,000 to the Singapore Red Cross, while Singaporeans have donated nearly S$5 million to fundraising drives

5. A negotiated two-state solution is the only viable solution

Singapore has remained consistent in its position that the only viable solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a negotiated two-state solution, in which Israel must accept a Palestinian state, and Palestinians must accept Israel’s right to exist.

Singapore has been engaging the Palestinian Authority and supported their capacity-building efforts, and will continue to do so, said Dr Balakrishnan.

6. External events must not divide Singaporeans

While Singaporeans feel deeply for civilian suffering on both sides, strong emotions have led to hate speech and violent clashes overseas, partially fuelled by disinformation.

Singapore must not fall into such traps where extremists on any side misuse religion to further their political aims, Dr Balakrishnan said.

7. Ensuring the safety of Singaporeans abroad

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has advised Singaporeans to leave Israel and the Palestinian Territories following the Oct 7 Hamas attacks.

The MFA remains in contact with those who chose to remain. Dr Balakrishnan also thanked the governments of Australia, Canada, Portugal, and South Korea for helping Singaporeans leave Israel safely.

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