Published On: Fri, Dec 22nd, 2017

UNGA adopts bill against US decision about Jerusalem despite pressure from Washington

UNGA adopts bill against US decision about Jerusalem despite pressure from Washington -

UNGA adopts bill against US decision about Jerusalem despite pressure from Washington

The bill against the US decision to “recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” was adopted at the UN General Assembly on December 21st 2017. Of the 193 members, 172 voted for “Yes”, 9 for “No” and 35 for “Abstentions”. Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt were among those countries that also said “yes” to the bill despite US threat to cut financial aid.

The bill prepared against Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel which is considered to aggravate conflict in the Middle East was adopted at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

In spite of the threatening rhetoric from both President Trump and Nikki Haley (UN Permanent Representative for USA)  to member countries,  ahead of the vote, 128 members of the 193-member said yes to the bill which was submitted by the initiative of Turkey and Yemen.

Nine “no” votes came at the meeting with 35 abstention. 21 countries did not participate in the vote. The adoption of a bill in the General Assembly requires two-thirds majority, but the decision is not binding.

Speaking in the session, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said Trump’s decision meant “attack on the natural rights of Palestinians, as well as Arab countries, Muslims and Christians.” He also stated that the decision pointed out that the US status as mediator in the Middle East peace process, had been affected.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was another speaker in the session. The Minister said “The General Assembly will not submit to those who threaten the members of the UN. Being strong does not mean that you are right. The whole Turkish nation stands by the Palestinian people”. He also used the expressions “World is bigger than five. The will of the UN member states is not for sale”. He pointed out that the Palestinians had the right to establish a state with the 1967 borders and with the East Jerusalem as capital.

Haley on the other hand as the Permanent Representative of USA to the UN, said “It is unacceptable that the UN has been an enemy of Israel for many years. The US will open its embassy in Jerusalem. The voting results here will not change this. Only the US will change its outlook on the UN “.

The vote came after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley issued a direct threat, saying that the US will think twice about funding the world body if it voted to condemn Trump’s decision. “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly,” Haley said. “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution” to the UN and when other member nations ask Washington “to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.” Haley said the US will put its embassy in Jerusalem regardless of the vote.

“That is what the American people want us to do and it is the right thing to do,” Haley said. “This vote will make a difference in how Americans look at the UN,” she said. “And this vote will be remembered.”

Haley’s remarks followed a threat from Trump himself, who mentioned the UN vote at a Wednesday Cabinet meeting. “We’re watching those votes,” the President said. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Haley’s stance also provoked a fiery tweet from John Brennan, who served as CIA director under President Obama: “Trump Admin threat to retaliate against nations that exercise sovereign right in UN to oppose US position on Jerusalem is beyond outrageous. Shows @realDonaldTrump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone—qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats.”

  • Our comment on the issue: The incomprehensible patronising attitude displayed by the USA in this case is absolutely unacceptable and is a serious conflict and threat to democracy and sovereignty rights of other countries in the world. On the other hand many would like to hope this could be a useful message to USA administration to review its int’l polices – and in a positive manner surely – being aware that times have changed and it is not a single-polar world anymore on the contrary to what it used to be until a few decades ago.

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