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Thursday, 21 December 2017

UN votes 128-9 to Declare America's Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israel's Capital 'Null And Void' - As Britain Jeopardises Its Special Relationship with US by Voting Against Trump

UN votes 128-9 to declare Trump's Israel decision 'void'
The UN General Assembly has voted 128 to 9 in favour of a non-binding resolution rejecting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

That is despite the US President threatening to cut billions of dollars in aid to countries that dared to defy him.

The UK was among those countries to vote against Trump, putting further pressure on the 'special relationship' after the pair got into a war of words when Trump retweeted several Britain First videos earlier this month.

May and Trump did speak on the phone about the Jerusalem issue on Wednesday after Britain opposed America in a similar vote at the Security Council. Downing Street acknowledged after the call that the leaders had taken 'different positions'.



The United Nations General Assembly has voted 128-9 to reject Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite threats from the President to withdraw aid


Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands joined the US and Israel in opposing the motion, while there were 35 abstentions and 21 others were absent
Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands joined the US and Israel in opposing the motion, while there were 35 abstentions and 21 others were absent

No mention was made of the Britain First videos during the call, according to a transcript released by Number 10.

Trump had said ahead of the vote that 'we're watching' the outcome, while Nikki Haley, his representative, had warned that the US would be 'taking names'.  

The resolution, sponsored by Yemen and Turkey, reaffirmed what has been the United Nations' stand on the divided holy city since 1967 - that Jerusalem's final status must be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said afterwards that he totally rejects the "preposterous" resolution.

The United States and Israel had waged an intensive lobbying campaign against the resolution, with US Ambassador Nikki Haley sending letters to over 180 countries warning that Washington would be taking names of those who voted against the US.

But when it came to the vote, major US aid recipients including Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa supported the resolution.

'But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN,' she said.

'When we make generous contributions to the UN we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognized and respected.'

While resolutions by the General Assembly are non-binding, a strong vote in support carries political weight. 

The vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 'yes' votes.  

Earlier in the day Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged countries not to sell out their  'democratic will in return for petty dollars'.   

Erdogan called on members not to be swayed by Trump's warning and said in a televised speech: 'I am calling on the whole world: never sell your democratic will in return for petty dollars.'

The US decision on December 6 to recognise the city as Israel's capital broke with international consensus and unleashed protests across the Muslim world, prompting a flurry of appeals to the United Nations. 


Trump warned that Washington would closely watch how nations voted, suggesting there could even be reprisals for countries that back the motion which was put forward by Yemen and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries. 

'They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,' Trump said at the White House.

'Well, we're watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care.'

The draft resolution mirrors the text that was vetoed on Monday, and although it does not mention Trump's decision, it expresses 'deep regret at recent decisions' concerning the city's status.

Ahead of the vote, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the UN as a 'house of lies,' saying Israel 'rejects outright this vote, even before it passes.'

'The attitude to Israel of many nations in the world, in all the continents, is changing outside of the UN walls, and will eventually filter into the UN as well - the house of lies,' he said. 

On Tuesday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley sent an email to fellow UN envoys to put them on notice that 'the president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us.'

'We will take note of each and every vote on this issue,' she wrote in the message seen by AFP.

And on Twitter she said 'the US will be taking names' when ambassadors of the 193-nation assembly cast their votes.

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