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20:56, 21 December 2017

Defying Trump, U.N. General Assembly Condemns U.S. Decree on Jerusalem

Defying Trump, U.N. Common Assembly Condemns U.S. Decree on Jerusalem


UNITED NATIONS — 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 help to nations voting against it.

In a collective act of defiance toward Washington, the United Nations General Assembly voted 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, for a resolution to demand that the United States rescind its Dec. 6 declaration on Jerusalem, the contested holy city.

The resolution is nonbinding and for that reason largely symbolic, but the lopsided vote indicated the extent to which the Trump administration’s selection to defy a 50-year international consensus on Jerusalem’s status has unsettled globe politics and contributed to America’s diplomatic isolation.

Significant allies like Britain, France, Germany and Japan voted for the resolution, although some allies, like Australia and Canada, abstained.

Carrying out a guarantee 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 complete city.

Many Safety 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 problem should be settled in negotiations among the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel denounced Thursday’s vote, likening it to a 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, a selection that was repealed right after 16 years simply because of intensive American pressure that included withholding American dues payments to the United Nations.

“It’s shameful that this meeting is even taking location,” Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, told the Basic Assembly. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel mentioned in a Facebook post: “Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution. Jerusalem is our capital. Always was, constantly will be.”

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 United States’ plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which she referred to as “the proper factor to do.”

“We will bear in mind it when we are known as upon when once again to make the world’s biggest contribution to the United Nations,” she stated of the vote. “And we will keep in mind when so numerous countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even far more and to use our influence for their advantage.”

The United States Mission to the United Nations quickly issued a statement looking for to portray the outcome as a victory due to the fact the vote could have been even far more lopsided. It cited the 35 abstentions, coupled with 21 delegations that had been absent, representing a considerable chunk of the total membership of 193.

“It’s clear that a lot of countries prioritized their partnership with the United States over an unproductive try to isolate us for a decision that was our sovereign right to make,” the mission stated in the statement emailed to journalists.

But American Jewish organizations that strongly support Israel saw nothing optimistic about the outcome of the vote. David Harris, the chief executive of the American Jewish Committee, said he was “dismayed by the overwhelming support of U.N. Member States for the Common Assembly resolution condemning U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

Stalwart American allies like France and Britain sought to frame their position as merely reaffirming the Safety Council resolutions on Jerusalem dating back to 1967, which are still in force, and to play down the isolation of the United States.

“It is a lot more essential than ever to rally the international neighborhood around the agreed parameters of the peace procedure,” mentioned France’s ambassador, François Delattre, “and this of course involves the United States, as everybody is conscious of its particular part and influence on this issue.”

Nonetheless, the decisive rejection of the American shift of position on Jerusalem, on the world’s greatest diplomatic stage, was a setback for a president who is still hunting for a significant foreign achievement right after nearly a year on the job. It also appeared to deepen the tension among Mr. Trump and the United Nations, which he as soon as likened to a social club.

Riyad Mansour, center, a Palestinian representative, walked past the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, on Thursday.CreditJustin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency

Several diplomats who spoke just before the vote — from Turkey, Venezuela, Pakistan, the Maldives, Bangladesh and other people — took offense at the stress campaign by the White Property, including final-minute threats by Mr. Trump to cut off aid to countries who voted for the resolution.

“History records names, it remembers names — the names of those who stand by what is proper and the names of those who speak falsehood,” said Riad Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister. “Today we are seekers of rights and peace.”

He stated that the Palestinians “will not be threatened,” and that the United States had insisted on “ignoring the dangerous repercussions of its selection.”

Aside from Israel, the only nations to side with the United States by voting no had been Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Palau.

The outcome, which several diplomats stated privately was a foregone conclusion, deepened Mr. Trump’s isolation more than the issue, threatened to alienate Arab allies of the United States and may possibly have further complex prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The vote also reflected resentment toward threats by Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley that any nation supporting the resolution risked a cutoff in aid. The willingness of other countries to ignore or play down such threats suggested that they had concluded that Mr. Trump was producing them for domestic political reasons. It is also tough to see how he could make good on a vow to cut financial assistance to critical allies like Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.

The General Assembly resolution, drafted by Yemen and Turkey, cited numerous past resolutions on Jerusalem and urged nations to “refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions.” The consensus beneath international law is that East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, must be the future capital of a Palestinian state.

The resolution did not mention the United States by name, but it known as for a “reversal of the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-state resolution.”

The General Assembly resolution was introduced a handful of days after a almost identical resolution in the 15-member Security Council was vetoed by the United States — the lone no vote — an outcome that stoked Mr. Trump’s anger.

“All of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Safety Council or they vote against us, potentially, at the Assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday.

“Well, we’re watching these votes,” he mentioned. “Let them vote against us we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Mr. Trump is not the initial president to have an antagonistic relationship with the United Nations. Considering that Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed for the creation of a planet body soon after Globe War II, presidents have often felt stymied by the defiance of its members toward the United States or its allies. For a couple of, it was “a dangerous place,” in the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the American ambassador to the United Nations below President Gerald R. Ford.

The Common Assembly’s approval of a resolution in 1975 that equated Zionism with racism opened a contentious period, when the United States often discovered itself isolated in defending of Israel. President Ronald Reagan withheld American dues from the United Nations for the duration of the 1980s to pressure the General Assembly to reverse the Zionism resolution, which it did in 1991.

In 2003, President George W. Bush clashed with allies at the United Nations more than Iraq, right after he claimed authority beneath Safety Council Resolution 1441 to invade the nation. France and Germany disagreed that the resolution, which had given Saddam Hussein an ultimatum to dismantle what the Americans stated were his weapons of mass destruction. The United States then led a coalition of countries into Iraq.

Mr. Bush acted without having acquiring a further Security Council resolution, and relations between the United States and the United Nations deteriorated. American lawmakers named for changes at the United Nations, complaining about what they mentioned was its persistent anti-American and anti-Israel bias. Mr. Bush’s ambassador, John R. Bolton, once mentioned of the 38-story United Nations constructing in New York, “If you lost 10 stories nowadays, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

Relations enhanced under President Barack Obama, who reemphasized the role of the United Nations as an agent for confronting worldwide troubles. The United States, nonetheless, continued to oppose Security Council and Basic Assembly resolutions that singled out Israel.

In the final days of Mr. Obama’s presidency, even so, the United States abstained from voting on a resolution condemning Israel’s settlement building. The episode has considering that come below scrutiny since the Israeli government contacted officials of Mr. Trump’s transition group to attempt to head it off.

Rick Gladstone reported from the United Nations, and Mark Landler from Washington. Michael Schwirtz contributed reporting from the United Nations, and Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem.


Published at Thu, 21 Dec 2017 20:22:09 +0000

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