The United Nations on Thursday delivered a rebuke of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, reports CBS News.
The issue came to vote in the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, with member approving the resolution 128-9. The resolution rendered the decision to change the status of Jerusalem “null and void,” stated that it has no legal effect, and called on member nations to not set up diplomatic operations in Jerusalem.
Trump, who said that he would be watching very closely which members of the General Assembly voted for the resolution, is assuredly enraged. A rebuke from an assembly of world leaders on the world stage is a massive upset for the Trump administration. The resolution means, in summary, that the rest of the world’s leadership feels that the Trump administration’s move to declare Jerusalem the capital was packed with malicious intent.
Trump, ever the bully, threatened to cut financial support to nations that vote in favor of the resolution.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the Assembly that “no vote in the United Nations will make any difference,” effectively communicating that the Trump administration carries no regard for international law and diplomacy. She noted that the United States “will be taking names.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 21, 2017
Haley called Trump’s decision “the right thing to do.” Here’s why that statement is false:
Israel illegally occupies Palestinian territory and has imposed checkpoints on sections of remaining Palestinian land that block residents from leaving. The nation has drawn international outrage in recent years for building illegal settlements in Palestinian territory. In the case of Jerusalem, Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem has been condemned by the UN and is considered illegal under international law.
Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. reportedly held up a coin he said is from 67 AD and bears the Hebrew words “Freedom of Zion.” He argued that it was clear evidence of an ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem. While that may be the case, it doesn’t delegitimize an ancient Arab connection to Jerusalem, either. Thus, Israel has not been allowed to declare Jerusalem solely its own.
“No UNESCO declaration, no empty speeches, no General Assembly resolution will ever drive us from Jerusalem. These are the facts this body does not want to hear.”
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he hoped the United States would be “taught a lesson” during the U.N. vote. Tensions are running high, and the Trump administration seems intent on stoking conflict wherever it turns.
What is promising, however, is that the rest of the world is prepared to stand together and fight back against the Trump administration’s regressive politics. Americans should stand up, too.