UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly has voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions to declare President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.”
Thursday’s vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 “yes” votes. It is noteworthy that 21 countries were absent.
In that sense, it was a victory for the United States, with Trump’s threat to cut off U.S. funding to countries that oppose his decision having an impact.
Previously Reported (all times local)
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley is threatening the 193 U.N. member states and the United Nations with funding cuts if the U.N. General Assembly approves a resolution calling President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.”
Haley tells an emergency meeting of the assembly that “no vote in the United Nations will make any difference” on the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which will go ahead because “it is the right thing to do.”
She says “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 says. “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.”
Haley says Thursday’s vote “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.”
Yemen’s U.N. ambassador is introducing the U.N. resolution calling the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void” and urging all “peace-loving countries” to vote in favor of it.
Ambassador Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany calls President Donald Trump’s action “a blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the Arab nations, and all Muslims and Christians of the world.”
Alyemany, speaking as chair of the Arab Group at the U.N., is the first speaker at an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
He says the U.S. decision “is considered a dangerous violation and breach of international law.”
Alyemany says it threatens peace in the world, undermines any chance for peace in the Mideast “and only serves to fan the fires of violence and extremism.”
Turkey’s president has heavily criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for threatening to cut off U.S. funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes the United States will be “taught a lesson” during a United Nations vote on the issue.
Speaking at a cultural awards ceremony in Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan accused Trump of seeking countries whose “decisions can be bought with dollars.”
Erdogan says: “Mr Trump, you cannot buy Turkey’s democratic will with your dollars. Our decision is clear.”
He adds: “I call on the whole world: Don’t you dare sell your democratic struggle and your will for petty dollars.”
Erdogan has been among the most vocal critics of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem.
The resolution being voted on Thursday is co-sponsored by Turkey, chair of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Yemen, chair of the Arab Group at the U.N.
Israel’s prime minister is blasting the United Nations as a “house of lies” ahead of a vote to reject President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Acknowledging that the resolution will likely pass by a wide margin, Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel “completely rejects this vote before it is made.”
Trump’s declaration on Dec. 6 departed from decades of U.S. policy, and international consensus, that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations. Netanyahu says Jerusalem is Israel’s capital regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s vote.
The Palestinians turned to the General Assembly after the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on Trump to rescind his decision.
The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, home to key Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites, as their capital.
President Donald Trump’s threat to cut off U.S. funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has raised the stakes in Thursday’s U.N. vote and sparked criticism at his tactics, which one Muslim group called bullying or blackmail.
Trump went a step further than U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley who hinted in a tweet and a letter to most of the 193 U.N. member states on Tuesday that the U.S. would retaliate against countries that vote in favor of a General Assembly resolution calling on the president to rescind his decision.
Haley says the president asked her to report back on countries “who voted against us” — and she stressed that the United States “will be taking names.”