Trump’s U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, tried to scare her colleagues into aligning with the president’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. She warned that the Trump administration would be “taking names “of dissenting countries and would remember their lack of loyalty. Her threats didn’t work, however, and 128 countries voted to reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. NBC News tweeted a chart of the results.
Trump’s decision could have such a big impact on the Middle Eastern peace process that the U.N. convened an emergency meeting to address the issue. In the end, 21 countries abstained, perhaps swayed by Haley’s threats that the U.S. might grow cold and cut funding if they don’t agree with the new Jerusalem position. Just nine countries are on board with the embassy move, a huge slap in the face to Trump and his take on foreign policy. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the vote results a “victory for Palestine.”
Israel had choice words for the U.N., telling them, “You are like puppets pulled by your Palestinian masters. The state of Israel rejects this vote outright,” Netanyahu said. “Jerusalem is our capital, we will continue to build there and additional embassies will move to Jerusalem.”
Haley also rebuked the U.N., using the same brusque tone President Trump himself often employs:
“When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have expectation that we will be respected. What’s more, we are being asked to pay for the dubious privileges of being disrespected. If our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our investment in other ways… The United States will remember this day.”
The vote doesn’t have much in the way of teeth, though it serves as a first step to the U.N. affirming its position in Israel and checking Trump’s reckless move. It means the U.N. is definitely committed to decades-old security council resolutions and has officially asserted opposition to the U.S. on this matter, calling the embassy transfer “null and void.” This also suggests that international tensions are reaching an new high for the Trump administration. As much as the president loves to set records, this is one he might not want to push. He’s already started to test just how united the U.N. really is.
(Via The Guardian)