A decisive vote in the UN General Assembly has further isolated the US in the international community. The vote of 128 against nine, with 35 abstentions and 21 countries not voting, has been received in Washington as a stinging rebuke for Trump and a rejection of his unilateral declaration of Jerusalem as a capital of Israel.
The landslide vote in support of international law and the peace process was a sign of defiance of US arrogance, especially after its representative in the UN Security Council Nikki Haley, upon orders from President Trump, threatened that Washington would remember which countries “disrespected” America by voting against it.
The US said that it will take the vote personally. President Trump said that the votes of states would be remembered, warning to slash aid for countries that voted against the US Jerusalem decision.
Trump’s threats did not intimidate the 128 majority, which voted against his decision, including major recipients of US aid such as Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Only nine states voted against the resolution: the United States, Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras.
Germany, which by the past has abstained on voting on measures relating to Israel, has joined its voice to 22 of the 28 member states of the EU in condemning Trump’s move.
Thirty-five countries abstained, including five EU states, and other US allies including Australia, Canada, Colombia and Mexico.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised to reject the results of the vote, calling the UN a “house of lies”.
Afterwards he said in a statement: “Israel thanks President Trump for his unequivocal position in favor of Jerusalem and thanks those countries that voted alongside Israel, alongside the truth.”
The Palestinians, on the other hand, applauded the vote results as a “victory for Palestine.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who was in Paris this Friday (Dec.22) for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, said the US has “disqualified” itself from the Middle East peace process when it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Abbas said at a joint news conference with Macron that the US was “no longer an honest mediator”. The Palestinian government “will not accept any plan put forward” by Washington, because of its bias and violation of the international law, he said, urging Europe to play a more influential role instead.
He also condemned Donald Trump’s threat to cut off financial aid to countries that criticized his administration.
Washington’s decision sparked global condemnation and protests in the Middle East, as well as fears it would kill off the peace process.