Posts misrepresent UN Security Council president's mistake on Gaza ceasefire resolution

A clip of Brazil's ambassador to the UN mistakenly stating at a Security Council meeting that Israel was among the countries to propose a vote for a ceasefire in Gaza has been misrepresented widely in social media posts. The posts falsely claim "Israel accidentally voted Palestine", however, the complete footage shows Sergio Franca Danese -- who was the council's rotating president at the time -- correcting himself shortly after the error. Israel is one of the 60 countries never to have been elected to the council.

"Israel accidentally voted Palestine," reads text superimposed on a clip of a UN Security Council meeting posted on Instagram on January 26, 2024.

The footage -- which has racked up more than half a million likes -- was taken from a longer video of a Security Council meeting held on October 16, 2023 in which it rejected a resolution filed by Russia calling for a ceasefire in Gaza (archived links here, here and here).

It shows Brazil's ambassador to the UN Sergio Franca Danese -- who was the council's rotating president at the time -- taking a lengthy pause after reading Israel's name in a list of countries that had supposedly supported putting forward a draft resolution on a "humanitarian ceasefire".

He can be heard saying, "Belarus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Israel," before he pauses and looks to his left. He then continues: "Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mali."

The draft resolution was filed after Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza in response to an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas that killed more than 1,160 people, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said at least 27,840 people have been killed in the territory during the war between Palestinian militants and Israel.

Screenshot of false post captured on February 6, 2024.

The clip was shared with the false claim as early as October 2023 when an account in Bangladesh claimed it showed Israel mistakenly voted for a ceasefire in Gaza.

It has since been shared alongside a similar claim globally, with posts on Facebook and X circulating in Nigeria, Canada, Somalia and Italy.

President misspoke

Footage of the full meeting shared on the UN's official YouTube channel shows Danese soon after clarified that Israel was not among the sponsors of the resolution. 

The video in the misleading posts corresponds with the longer footage from its one-minute, 52-second mark.

"I shall correct myself. Israel is not part of that list," Danese said at the video's two-minute 28-second mark (archived link).

Israel was not included in the list of countries sponsoring the draft resolution on the UN's website (archived link).

The draft resolution was not adopted by the council because it "failed to obtain the required number of votes", according to the UN's official record (archived link).

Israel cannot vote

The UN Security Council is made up of 15 members, all of whom are entitled to one vote (archived links here and here). 

Of those, five countries -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- are permanent members of the council and have the right to veto. Non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms.

Israel is one of the 60 countries that has never been elected to the council (archived link).

Bryce Wakefield, national executive director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, told AFP it was "impossible" for Israel to have voted on the resolution because it "isn't a permanent or non-permanent member of the Security Council" (archived link). 

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