by WorldTribune Staff, December 22, 2017
The United States on Dec. 21 threatened to pull its funding from the United Nations after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in remarks to the assembly in New York.
“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations and we will remember it 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 resolution, which passed 128-9, expressed “deep regret” at Trump’s decision and calls on “all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.”
The resolution was sponsored by Turkey and Yemen and comes after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution at the UN Security Council. The U.S. does not hold veto power at the General Assembly.
Haley’s remarks came a day after Trump had warned he could pull funding from “nations that take our money and vote against us.”
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars then vote against us, well we’re watching those votes,” he said. “Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
Haley said that “America will put our embassy in Jerusalem, that is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. No vote at the United Nations will make any difference on that, but this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN and this vote will be remembered.”
Prior to the Dec. 21 vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “Israel completely rejects the vote even before it takes place.”
“Jerusalem is our capital, we will continue to build it, and the embassies of countries – first that of the United States – will move to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “This will happen.”
Netanyahu said that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital “whether the UN recognizes it as such or not. It took 70 years until the U.S. formally recognized this, and it will take a number of more years until the UN does so as well.”
Netanyahu said that Israel’s bilateral ties with countries on all continents is changing outside of the UN’s walls, “and in the end this will trickle down inside the walls of the UN building – the House of Lies.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed the results of the resolution, tweeting it was “A resounding global NO to Trump regime’s thuggish intimidation at UN.”
Zarif said the “Trump regime exposes contempt for democracy through its threats against those who dare resist its thuggish demands at the UN – all while Trump insults Iran crudely as ‘dictatorship.’ ”
“U.S. version of democracy stops at rhetoric of ‘either with us or against us,’ ” Zarif tweeted.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Dec. 21 lauded the resolution while calling on Trump to reverse the decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We welcome with great pleasure the UN General Assembly’s overwhelming support… We expect the Trump administration to rescind without further delay its unfortunate decision, whose illegality has been clearly established,” Erdogan said on Twitter, according to AFP.
The Turkish President had earlier called on UN member states not to be swayed by Trump’s threat to cut funding for countries that backed the motion at the UN General Assembly.
“I am calling on the whole world: never sell your democratic will in return for petty dollars,” he said in a televised speech in Ankara before the vote.
“How do they call America? The cradle of democracy. The cradle of democracy is seeking to find will in the world that can be bought with dollars,” he said.
“Mr. Trump, you cannot buy with dollars Turkey’s democratic will. Our decision is clear,” Erdogan said.