Why Micronesia and the Marshall Islands?

Yesterday, 144 of the world’s nations voted to codemn Israel’s building of a barrier around the West Bank. Twelve nations abatained, but only four actually voted against the resolution. Of course, Israel voted against condemning itself, and the U.S., which blocked a similar measure from passing the Security Council, also voted against this one. The other two were Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, but why? Were they looking for the publicity? Were they hoping we would return the favor by reconsidering Kyoto, to keep them (literally) above water? Did the ballots have hanging chads? What’s the real story?

They’ve been close friends of Israel for over a decade, constantly voting in our favor. Nobody knows why. It’s a bit of a running joke around here.

I don’t know for sure, but I’d say that given that their defense is entirely provided by the US, they’re likely to vote with us. I wonder if they’ve ever voted against the US on anything…

If a vote was held accusing Israel of making the world flat, it would pass by about the same margin.

Pretty sure that Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are protectorates of the US. They also get a lot of aid from the US (or at least US Aid counts from a large part of their GDP).

The Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are termed “Freely Associated States” and are administered under the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs.

In keeping with the American tradition of permitting the creation of screwed-up sovereign entities, the Freely Associated States (including Palau) were created from the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. They have very large internal autonomy and (I think) do not exchange citizenship with the U.S. Unlike domestic dependent nations, FAS have some control over foreign policy in addition to internal sovereignty. They have representatives in the U.N. and retain embassies in Washington DC, but they rely upon the United States for their military protection and (if I’m not mistaken) have preferential trade agreements with the U.S., and I believe the United States has some oversight over each state’s finances.

FSM and RMI get majority of their GNP from US aid, so they definitely tend to go our way.

Are they the only countries that fit this category though? Why are they the only ones to join the U.S. on this vote (besides Israel itself.)

In regards to adaher’s comment, is the whole world, except for the U.S., biased against Israel?

One wonders where the coalition of the willing is ? I suppose the US should have offered some financial help before the voting… or maybe scared a couple of small countries into voting differently.

Naturally for adaher this is plain injustice… 4 against 144… the US could never be wrong. Or how would you explain it ?

In regards to adaher’s comment, is the whole world, except for the U.S., biased against Israel?

Absolutely. The world has been biased against Jews for thousands of years. Except for the US, which did more to welcome Jews than any nation in the world’s history.

I just saw a very disturbing program on TV showing how the US helped the Jews in the early 1940’s. Namely not at all, refusing them to enter the US and even sending them back to Germany.

No nations’ record is perfect. Heck, Jews haven’t always been nice to Jews.

We are speaking in relative terms here of course. The US’s record is far better than any other nation on treatment of Jews. That does not mean they never did anything wrong.

You are right of course. I guess it’s a matter of:
the one without guilt, cast the first stone.

If anti semitism is your best answer to a loopsided vote… then their is no arguing.

With Israel = Good and right
Against Israel = anti semetic

Well, Rashak, you have to wonder why there are so many resolutions condemning Israel, given the far worse records of China, Burma, Indonesia, Libya, Uzbekistan, Mali, Liberia, Mozambique, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Congo, Cambodia, Serbia, Pakistan, Yemen, Venezuala, Kenya, Belorus, Ethiopia, Egypt, Angola, India, Vietnam, etc etc etc.

I believe the main answer isn’t so much anti-semitism, but rather the fact that there are a couple dozen Arab and Muslim states, each with a vote in the General Assembly, that vote as a bloc on Israeli issues, and have an interest in proposing these votes as often as possible. No other country has such a large bloc of relexive enemy nations who propose condemnation at the drop of a hat.

Other countries have learned not to bother voting against them, since what does it accomplish besides annoying the Arabs?

And since everyone knows that the US will always stick up for Israel in the Security Council and veto anything substantive, every country knows that these resolutions are essentially meaningless. If they proposed actually DOING something, and the US wasn’t there to automatically block it, then these countries might actually think about their vote.

This sometimes happens in parliaments…a legislator will propose something nutty that he doesn’t actually believe in but is supported by his district, and everyone will vote to support it to help him out, knowing that it will be vetoed or struck down or never be enacted.

Sounds like the Marshall Islands and Micronesia vote with the U.S. on high-profile resolutions.

From Everything Marshall Islands (bolding mine):

Similarily, in the 10th annual UN vote to condem the U.S. embargo of Cuba:

**If anti semitism is your best answer to a loopsided vote… then their is no arguing.

With Israel = Good and right
Against Israel = anti semetic

Now you’re being simplistic. If it was just this vote, I could understand.

But the obsession of the UN with Israel is completely out of whack with the situation in the world. There are far worse problems. That is not to say they shouldn’t pay attention to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. But they’d have more credibility if they also issued resolutions condemning the far worse human rights violations and aggressions elsewhere.

Adaher, if what you you imply is true, it begs the question, why is virtually the whole world biased gainst Israel?

SimonX, did you see my answer?

There are a large number of countries with an interest in passing resolutions condemning Israel, that is, the various Arab countries. Countries that are not Arab but are majority Muslim can be included as well.

Other countries may have enemies, but they don’t have a BLOC of enemies. Without a bloc of guaranteed support there is no sense in, say, India introducing a resolution condemning Pakistan, since it will be voted down by all the Arab and Muslim countries as a bloc. Or there is little use in antagonizing a potential enemy with a condemning resolution since most countries would rather calm tensions with their enemies rather than ratchet them up…unless they are planning on war.

And of course, every Arab country and every majority muslim country (except Indonesia which is a marginal case and could under some definitions be considered democratic) is not a democracy but a monarchy or a dictatorship, meaning that they don’t have to worry about dissent in their countries.

Arab governments find it useful to periodically condemn Israel, and other countries find it useful to go along with them, knowing that it is all meaningless anyway since the US will always protect Israel in the Security Council.

But nowadays the Israelis are getting in a worse and worse situation. The propaganda machines are cranking up full speed, left-wing anti-semitism is spreading widely, Europe no longer feels responsible for its part in the history of the creation of Israel.

So the way it works is that Arab countries are biased against Israel, they have an interest in spreading anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and the rest of the world except the US has little incentive to protect Israel.

So Lemur you accounted for say … 30 muslims of the 144 countries. Still not a explanation. Even if you include people doing it to spite the US… the list goes up a dozen or two… lots of countries left.