U.N. overwhelmingly condemns U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital

By Allen Cone
The United Nations on Thursday, by a 128-9 vote with 35 abstentions, approved a resolution condemning Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The United Nations on Thursday, by a 128-9 vote with 35 abstentions, approved a resolution condemning Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday decisively approved a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

During an emergency meeting, the full U.N. membership approved the resolution 128-9 that declares Trump's recognition of Jerusalem "null and void." Thirty-five nations abstained.


The United States vetoed the same measure in the Security Council on Monday. All of the 14 other member approved the resolution. The five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- had veto power but there are no vetoes at the General Assembly.

A bloc of Arab nations, Turkey and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called for the meeting. The Palestinian Authority is a non-member observer in the United Nations.


Egypt drafted the resolution, which affirms the U.N. decision that calls for Jerusalem's status to be decided through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. It was made in 1967 when Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan. The United Nations doesn't recognize the annexation by Israel.

Most nations recognize Tel Aviv as the capital and maintain embassies there, including the United States. Trump wants the embassy to be moved eventually.

According to the resolution, "any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council."

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said "no vote in the United Nations will make any difference" on her nation moving ts embassy to Jerusalem and "it is the right thing to do."

She said "the United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very right of exercising our right as a sovereign nation."

"We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations," she said. "And we will remember 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."


The vote, she said, "will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N., and this vote will be remembered."

In a letter to the 193 members states on Tuesday, Haley said the U.S. would retaliate against countries that vote in favor of a General Assembly resolution.

On Wednesday, Trump said vote could impact "billions of dollars" in U.S. aid.

"Let them vote against us, we'll save a lot," Trump said. "We don't care. This isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing."

Haley said Tuesday that the United States "will be taking names" of the nations that voted for the resolution.

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump and Haley "for standing up for Israel and for standing up for the truth" in a post on Twitter. He added "ultimately the truth will prevail."

But the new U.S. policy announced on Dec. 6 has been solidly criticized throughout the world, especially in Arab nations.


After Trump announced the policy change on Dec. 6, protests erupted. Palestinian militants launched missiles into Israel and the Jewish state responded with airstrikes on Gaza.

Yemen's Ambassador Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany on Thursday called the policy "a blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the Arab nations, and all Muslims and Christians of the world."

Alyemany is chairman of the Arab Group at the United Nations.

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