A majority of the world’s nations delivered a stinging rebuke to the United States on Thursday, denouncing its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ignoring President Trump’s threats to retaliate by cutting aid to countries voting against it.
In a collective act of defiance toward Washington, the General Assembly voted 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, to demand that the United States rescind its Dec. 6 declaration on Jerusalem, the contested holy city.
The resolution is nonbinding and therefore largely symbolic, but the lopsided vote indicated the extent to which the Trump administration’s decision to defy a 50-year international consensus on Jerusalem’s status has unsettled world politics and contributed to America’s diplomatic isolation.
Major allies like Britain, France, Germany and Japan all voted for the resolution, though some allies, like Australia and Canada, abstained.
Carrying out a promise to his base of supporters, Mr. Trump’s decision on Jerusalem upended decades of American policy, aggravating an emotional issue that has festered since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war when the Israelis occupied the entire city.
Many Security Council resolutions since then, which have the force of international law, have warned that Jerusalem’s status is unresolved, that claims of sovereignty by Israel are invalid and that the issue must be settled in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel denounced Thursday’s vote, likening it to a 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, a decision that was repealed in 1991 after intensive American lobbying. “It’s shameful that this meeting is even taking place,” Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, told the body.
The American ambassador, Nikki R. Haley, called the vote “null and void,” declaring that “no vote in the United Nations will make any difference” on the decision to move the embassy, which she called “the right thing to do.”
Echoing vows by Mr. Trump to keep score, Ms. Haley said, “The United States will remember this day, in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very right of exercising our right as a sovereign nation.”
“We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations,” she said. “And we will remember when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
SOURCE: RICK GLADSTONE
The New York Times