UN General Assembly Rejects Trump’s Jerusalem Move With Resounding Majority
128 countries voted against Trump’s Jerusalem move
December 22, 2017
In a development that signalises the growing isolation of the United States from the Israel-Palestine conflict, an overwhelming majority of United Nations members defied unprecedented threats by the US to declare President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “null and void.”
The resolution was passed at a UN General Assembly emergency meeting called on Thursday. 128 countries voted in favour of declaring Trump’s Jerusalem move as “null and void,” while 35 countries abstained from voting. India was amongst the 128 countries that voted against Trump’s move.
The overwhelming majority of countries to reject the move comes despite US threats against them. On Wednesday, President Trump had in fact threatened to pull US aid to any country that voted in favour of the resolution. The threat potentially contributed to nine countries voting against the resolution, and 35 abstaining.
The emergency meeting and resolution came after President Trump, earlier this month, declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced plans to relocate the US embassy to the ancient city. The move immediately sparked outrage, as Jerusalem is contested between Israel and Palestine. It led to protests across the world, especially in occupied Palestine as the Holy City is a key element to the Palestine-Israel conflict.
Shortly after the UN vote against it, Palestinian leaders said vote was 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.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that “It's a day of shame to those who stood shoulder to shoulder with the occupation and settlements against international law.. 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."
Several world leaders took to Twitter to welcome the move.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, foreign minister of Turkey and co-sponsor of the resolution tweeted that “dignity and sovereignty are not for sale".
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also tweeted his support, calling the resolution "a resounding global NO to Trump regime's thuggish intimidation.”
Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu, who has previously called the UN a “house of lies”, condemned the resolution and reaffirmed his support to President Trump. I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refused to participate in this theatre of the absurd," Netanyahu said in a televised statement. "So I appreciate that, and especially I want to again express our thanks to President Trump and Ambassador Haley, for their stalwart defence of Israel and their stalwart defence of the truth."
The emergency meeting to pass the resolution follows a Security Council vote on the same matter on Monday. There too, the US was outvoted 14 to 1. In the Security Council, however, the US has veto power, and was able to to veto the resolution. In the General Assembly, no veto provisions exist.
First published in The Citizen
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