The United Nations just cast an overwhelming vote to reject President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
From The Hill
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 symbolic condemnation of Trump’s decision and exerts political pressure on him to reverse the move.
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.
Haley sent a letter to members of the international body this week, warning that Trump had instructed her to take stock of the countries that voted in favor of the resolution. The president followed up on that warning on Wednesday, suggesting at a Cabinet meeting that the U.S. could cut off foreign aid for countries that opposed the U.S. in the vote.
“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 on 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 vote as a 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 ahead of 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.”