The United Nations General Assembly sent a firm message to President Donald Trump on Thursday, as it voted overwhelmingly to reject the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The UN voted 128-9 to declare Trump’s move as “null and void,” with 35 nations abstaining.
BREAKING: UN General Assembly votes 128-9 to declare US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital `null and void'
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 21, 2017
The vote came after the U.S.’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had threatened nations ahead of the vote who planned to vote against the U.S.’s decision.
Hinting at the possibility of halting financial contributions to the U.N., Haley said the U.S. “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…We will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more.”
.@nikkihaley: U.S. "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…We will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more." pic.twitter.com/20RGHzfMub
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) December 21, 2017
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, also insulted the assembly, calling countries who supported the resolution “puppets pulled by your Palestinian masters.”
In addition to the U.S. and Israel, the only countries who voted against the resolution to declare Trump’s move “null and void” were Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Paulu and Togo.
Among the abstentions was Canada, which many had assumed would back the U.S., and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the vote a “victory for Palestine.”
The vote was largely symbolic, but further illustrated the continuing isolation of the U.S. among leading nations in the international arena. The UN has maintained the general international consensus that the Jerusalem issue — both Israel and Palestine consider it a capital, and it is a sacred site for Christians, Jews and Muslims — will only be resolved as a final matter in the peace process between the two states. Most countries have their embassies in Israel located in Tel Aviv.