The United Nations showed their cards this Thursday during a vote which ‘rebuked’ President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The vote condemned the move and has called on the US to retract their decision.
Our guess is that there is a fat-chance of that happening.
The Hill reports: The final vote count in favor of the resolution was 128. Nine countries opposed the resolution while 35 abstained.
The resolution — essentially a formal statement of a U.N. opinion — is not legally binding. But it represents a condemnation of Trump’s decision and exerts political pressure on him to reverse the move.
Some of the United States’ closest allies moved to condemn the decision. The United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan, among others, voted in favor of the resolution. Other allies, like Canada, Mexico and Australia, abstained.
In the run-up to the General Assembly vote, Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley sought to warn countries against opposing the Trump administration’s Jerusalem decision.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley said before the vote. “We will remember it when, once again, we are called up to make the world’s largest contribution to the U.N., and we will remember it when many countries come calling on us to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
Of course Trump wanted every one of the countries who voted in favor of the resolution to know that their move would be duly noted and not ignored. Following up with that warning, the president suggested at a Cabinet meeting that the U.S. could potentially ‘cut off foreign aid for countries that opposed the U.S. in the vote,’ reports The Hill.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” Trump said. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
The General Assembly vote came days after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution in the U.N. Security Council. The panel’s other 14 members voted in favor of that measure, a move that Haley called an “insult” to the U.S.
Shortly after the Security Council vote, Arab and Muslim leaders at the U.N. called for an emergency special session of the General Assembly to discuss the U.S.’s Jerusalem decision.
In a defiant speech ahead of the General Assembly vote on Thursday, Riyad Al Maliki, the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, cast the Trump administration’s Jerusalem decision as an affront to regional peace and security that has isolated the U.S. from the international community.
“Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated in this position?” he asked.
In a blunt response, Haley warned the international body that the U.S. would remember the betrayal by the U.N., and that the vote would do nothing to affect the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there.
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do,” she said before the vote. “No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that. But this vote will make a difference in how Americans view the U.N.”
Trump’s decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was widely condemned by other world leaders, particularly in Arab and Muslim-majority countries, who warned that the move threatened to undermine stability in the region.