A day after the US vetoed a Security Counsel resolution that criticized the US proclamation that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and that it would build an embassy in the city, the United Nation’s General Assembly approved an identical non-binding resolution against the US.
The vote, 128-9 for the resolution with 35 abstentions and 21 absent, took place after the president and Nikki Hailey, the US Ambassador to the UN, publicly stated that the UN and nations that supported the resolution may lose financial support from the US.
In America there is great skepticism about the effectiveness of the UN and the integrity of its members. And, for years the US has paid for nearly 30% of all UN operating expenses, which excludes the cost of the organization being located in New York City.
Over the years rogue nations and their supporters have used the UN to denounce America. The aforementioned skepticism towards the organization has been wholeheartedly adopted by the Trump administration. The president has indicated that the UN is corrupt and ineffective.
The issue at hand is whether Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and/or Palestine. In 1967 Israel took control of the Holy City and proclaimed it was its capital. This proclamation has been challenged by Palestinian leaders for decades. They say East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital. Can the city be split to satisfy both countries? So far no progress has been made in this regard.
The capital controversy is an integral part of two-state solution favored by Palestine and acceptable to Israel under certain conditions heretofore unacceptable to Palestinian leaders . Critics of the US say that the latest decisions by the US (to announce that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and to build an embassy there) are detrimental to the peace process. This of course is absurd given that no progress has made in five decades.
Candidate Trump promised he would move forward with the embassy if elected, as previously prescribed by Congress. Earlier presidents have delayed this decision in an effort to encourage the peace process.
The situation has been inflamed by US threats to cut off aid to the UN and to members that do not side with it. This would represent a remarkably aggressive tactic as support for countries like Turkey (a leader of the resolution) and Egypt has been assured by US support . These countries are frequently asked to help decrease tension in the Middle East.
Most disconcerting is the harsh attitude of many UN members towards the US because of its loyalty to Israel. Israel’s existence continues to be a thorn in the side of many Arab countries, all of which supported the resolution. It’s commonly believed that they had no choice other than to do so to avoid being ostracized by other Arab states.
The US is taking a tough stance by doubling down on its backing of Israel interests. Of course Israeli leaders were thrilled by US actions on their behalf.
Trump and Hailey are correct. No other nations should be allowed to dictate US actions relating to Israel or an any country.