Saturday, March 17, 2018

UN General Assembly votes against US Jerusalem declaration

By Rhiannon F. - December 24, 2017
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [UN] [US foreign policy] [Jerusalem]

The UN General Assembly has voted with an overwhelming majority against the US recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and subsequent decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

In an emergency meeting held on December 21, instigated by Turkey and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, 128 countries voted for a non-binding resolution against the US decision.

PLO Executive Committee Member, Dr Hanan Ashrawi stated after the meeting: “We are extremely encouraged and empowered by the overwhelming vote in favor of a UNGA resolution rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.”

“The international community has unequivocally proved that it will not be intimidated or blackmailed, and its members will defend the global rule of law and justice,” Dr Ashrawi said.

The resolution taken to the General Assembly was modeled from the Egyptian text voted on in the Security Council earlier in the week.

While not mentioning the US by name, the text referred to 'any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect [and] are null and void.’

On December 18, the US used its veto power in the Security Council against 14 member states who voted for the resolution.

Dr Ashrawi stated the US, by using its veto “has positioned itself alongside Israel, outside the law and on the side of illegality and occupation.”

“[The US] has also become complicit in Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem,” Dr Ashrawi stated.

On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US for its veto, in a video on his Twitter account.

“Thank you President Trump and Ambassador Haley for standing up for Israel and for standing up for the truth. Ultimately the truth will prevail,” PM Netanyahu wrote.

US President Donald Trump said he would withhold 'billions’ of dollars of aid from countries who vote against his Jerusalem declaration in the General Assembly.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley further warned, in writing, to the majority of General Assembly member states that the US would be 'taking names’ of those countries who vote for the resolution.

Dr Hanan Ashrawi responded to the US’ 'bullying’ by saying Palestine would not be “deterred or intimidated.”

“President Trump should know that there are things that are not for sale or subject to blackmail, particularly issues of principle, legality and morality,” Dr Ashrawi stated.

While 35 countries abstained from voting, nine countries, including the US and Israel, voted against the resolution.

Of these nine countries, four are small Pacific Island nations: Palau; Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Nauru, three of which were American colonies and “are still partly governed by mutual agreements with Washington,” as reported in Middle East Eye.


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