The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) has overwhelmingly rejected the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognise the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. By a 128-9 vote Thursday, the diplomats gathered in New York City ignored U.S. objections and approved a nonbinding resolution calling on countries to avoid moving their embassies to Jerusalem. Three days back, on December 19, in a historic snub to the United States, a UN security council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been backed by every council member except the US, which used its veto. The U.N. members that voted against the resolution and along with the United States:
Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.
India voted for the resolution and against he United States. Among the countries that voted in favour of the resolution are many traditional U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom and France. Israel, which celebrated Trump’s decision earlier this month, joined the U.S. in voting against the measure. Thirty-five countries abstained, including U.S. allies Canada and Australia.
Earlier in the day, before the assembly voted on the largely symbolic declaration, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley expressed her resistance in no uncertain terms. Her threatening tone, symptomatic of the Trump administration continued: “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley said Thursday.
“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it 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.”
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President Trump announced earlier this month his administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to the disputed city. The move has been seen as a negation of the decades long Peace Process and attempt at dialogue. Further, it negated decades of U.S. diplomatic policy and fulfilled a key campaign promise — but it also immediately set off a widespread backlash in countries around the world, who believe it would significantly undermine the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, who also claim Jerusalem as the capital of a prospective state.
As Israel lauded the move, the country’s Arab neighbors condemned it as a violation of an international resolution that forbids attempts “to alter the character and status” of the city before the peace process has concluded. And beyond the Middle East, countries across the West quickly reiterated that their own embassies would not move from their present locations in Tel Aviv.Meanwhile, in the Palestinian territories, protests escalated into clashes between demonstrators and Israeli authorities. And rocket fire from the Gaza Strip was answered with Israeli airstrikes.
Yet the members of the assembly overwhelmingly lined up against the two countries — and several explicitly rejected the pressure Haley and Trump had been seeking to exert on them, including Haley’s threat that she’ll take note of “those countries who vote against us.”
“History records names,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said Thursday, “it remembers names — the names of those who stand by what is right and the names of those who speak falsehood. Today we are seekers of rights and peace.”
India-Palestine Solidarity Forum