A resolution on Palestinian statehood was defeated yesterday in a vote of the UN Security Council—and surprisingly, this diplomatic triumph for Israel did not even require a U.S. veto.Even though its veto wasn’t needed, the Obama Administration decided to cast its vote with Israel rather than, as some must have hoped, abstaining as a way to signal its displeasure with the Israeli government.Nine votes were needed to pass the resolution and only 8 voted yes. The U.S. and Australia voted no, while those abstaining—which under the circumstances is the same as a “no” vote—included the UK and Lithuania among the European countries (the other two, France and Luxembourg, voted “yes”). But the big news came from sub-Saharan Africa. There, only one country (Chad, dependent on yes-voting France and heavily Islamic in population) voted yes; two abstained. One was Nigeria, where there is a Christian president and Israel is popular among the mostly-Christian southern Nigerians. The other was Rwanda, whose government is grounded in memories of a holocaust of its own.What’s the takeaway? Israeli diplomacy is making headway in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of aid, trade, and the rise of Christian Zionism. It will be interesting to see how this develops.