By Saeed Sobhani 

America's isolation at UN General Assembly

December 24, 2017

TEHRAN _ The approval of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on" Beit al-Moghaddas" shows that the United States, and especially its President Donald Trump, have been severely left alone! As much time goes by, it will add to the isolation of the United States in the world. Even the threats of the Trump government against members of the United Nations General Assembly failed to lead to their negative vote in the United Nations resolution on Quds.

A resounding majority of United Nations member states has defied unprecedented threats by the US to declare President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem (Beit al-Moghaddas) as Israel's capital "null and void".

The non-binding resolution was approved at a UN General Assembly emergency meeting on Thursday with 128 votes in favor and nine against, while 35 countries abstained. It passed despite intimidation by Trump, who had threatened on Wednesday to eliminate financial aid to member states who would vote against his decision, while Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, had warned that she would be "taking names" of those countries.

Shortly after the vote, Palestinian leaders called the vote a victory for Palestine and thanked the UN member states that rejected Trump's unilateral move "despite all the pressure exerted on them".

"This decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of international community, and no decisions made by any side could change the reality, that Jerusalem is an occupied territory under international law," Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, condemned Washington's decision but said the UN vote showed respect for the rule of law."It's a day of shame to those who stood shoulder to shoulder with the occupation and settlements against international law," he said.

"But we appreciate very much that the majority of the international community decided, in spite of the threats and intimidation of the US, to stand tall with wisdom, far-sightedness, international law and the rule of law - and not the rule of the jungle." Mevlut Cavusoglu, foreign minister of Turkey, a co-sponsor of the resolution, said on Twitter that "dignity and sovereignty are not for sale"

Also Bloomberg reported that the nonbinding UN resolution passed Thursday by a vote of 128-9, with 35 nations abstaining. Key U.S. allies backing the measure over Trump’s threats included the U.K., France, Italy, Japan and Germany. The U.S. was joined in opposition by countries including Guatemala, Nauru and Micronesia. Abstentions included Australia, Canada and Argentina.

“The United States will remember this day when it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly,” Haley said at the UN podium ahead of the vote. “We will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they often do, to pay even more. This vote will be remembered.”

That threat was repudiated by speakers from countries supporting the resolution, which says the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations. A similar resolution had 14 votes in favor in the 15-member Security Council last week, prompting Haley to exercise the first U.S. veto since 2011.

We were all asked to vote no or face the consequences,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said before Thursday’s vote. “Some even threatened to cut development aid. This is bullying. It is unethical to think that the votes and dignity of member states are for sale.”

Bloomberg continues that the debate follows Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement, which included a decision to begin moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem (Beit al-Moghaddas) from Tel Aviv. The announcement prompted criticism across the Middle East and from key U.S. allies in Europe, who said it would harm efforts to foster Middle East peace.

Haley and her team argued afterward that 21 nations not present for the vote -- including Moldova, Zambia and the Caribbean island nations of Saint Lucia and St. Kitts & Nevis -- should be counted as backing the U.S. position.

Also Cnbc reported that A United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the U.S. to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem (Beit al-Moghaddas) as Israel's capital passed overwhelmingly Thursday despite threats from the Trump administration to cut funding to U.S. aid recipients who voted in favor. One hundred and twenty-eight countries voted for the resolution. Nine countries voted against and thirty-five countries abstained. 

"Let them vote against us," Trump said at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday. "We don't care. But this isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars."

The symbolic vote from the General Assembly is not legally binding. The U.N. Security Council failed to adopt a similar resolution on Monday after the U.S. vetoed the measure. Security Council decisions carry the force of international law.

A spokesperson for the U.S. mission pushed back on those saying the vote was a rebuke.

"While the resolution passed, the vote breakdown tells a different story," the spokesperson told NBC News. "It's clear that many countries prioritized their relationship with the United States over an unproductive attempt to isolate us for a decision that was our sovereign right to make."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a message on Twitter thanking Trump and Haley. He said that he appreciated "the fact that a growing number of countries refused to participate in this theater of the absurd."

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement posted to the organization's website that the PLO was "extremely encouraged and empowered by the vote." 

"Despite American efforts to safeguard Israeli violations and war crimes, the majority maintained their principled position while a minimal number succumbed by abstaining or voting against the resolution," she said. The nine countries that voted against the resolution were Israel, the United States, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Togo, Honduras and Guatemala.

Finally, most of the world's media reports have highlighted the isolation of the United States and the Trump government. The fact is that America has lost its strength and has become a vulnerable player in the international system.


 

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