The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday defied warnings from the United States and overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and calling on countries not to move their diplomatic missions to the city.
A total of 128 countries voted in favor of the text, defying President Donald Trump’s threat — forcefully reiterated in an address before the vote by US envoy Nikki Haley — to cut aid to countries that opposed the motion.
Nine countries — the US, Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Guatemala, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Honduras — voted against the resolution.
There were 35 abstentions, including a number of countries that had been widely expected to support the move, such as Colombia, Mexico, Malawi and Rwanda. A further 21 countries did not vote at all.
By abstaining, Hungary, Croatia, Latvia, Romania and the Czech Republic broke European Union consensus on the vote. The EU had previously vehemently rejected any attempt to change Jerusalem’s status in the absence of a final peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
Haley tweeted after the vote that “65 countries refused to condemn the United States” — totaling the no votes, the abstentions and the no-shows.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, in a video, that “Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution. Jerusalem is our capital — always was, always will be.” However, he added, “I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theater of the absurd.” He thanked Trump and Haley for their “stalwart defense” of Israel and the truth.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the number of countries that either opposed, abstained or were absent from the vote was “hugely significant.” The vote shows that “not the whole world is part of this show,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon said.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said “The vote is a victory for Palestine,” and promised that the Palestinians would “continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”
Addition Reporting from Isreal Times