Socialist Worker

UN votes down US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Issue No. 2585

Trumps bullying has been shown to its limits

Trump's bullying has been shown to have limits in what it can achieve (Pic: Gage Skidmore)

The US has failed to defeat a United Nations (UN) vote condemning Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The vote was held last night at the request of Arab states.

Despite US bullying and intimidation, the UN general assembly voted by a huge majority against the US’s move. On Thursday 128 members voted in favour of the resolution with only nine—including the US and Israel—voting against. There were 35 abstentions.

Afghanistan and Mali withdrew their sponsorship of the resolution in response to the US threats of retaliation. But, emphasising Trump’s isolation and the pressure from their own populations, US allies including Saudi Arabia added their names at the last minute to the document condemning Trump.

The US vetoed the resolution in the UN security council on Monday, but the US cannot veto a general assembly resolution.

Since Trump announced that the US would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 6 December, ten Palestinians have been killed by Israeli armed forces. And some 2,000 have been injured during protests.

Among the many hundreds arrested was 16 year old Palestinian Ahed al-Tamimi who was taken into custody after Israeli forces raided her home in Nabi Saleh village in the northern West Bank.

The arrest came after a video was widely shared of her slapping Israeli soldiers.


Israeli defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that al-Tamimi would not be the only one targeted. “Her parents and her surroundings won't get away from what they deserve,” Lieberman said.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Hayley said she would take down the names of countries that vote against the US. “The president and the US take this vote personally,” she wrote to UN delegates.

And racist, sexist US president Donald Trump implied that countries which voted against the US would have their aid cut off. He said, “Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

During the debate Haley added, “When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have expectation that we will be respected,” she said. “What’s more, we are being asked to pay for the dubious privileges of being disrespected.”

Haley added: “If our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our investment in other ways… The United States will remember this day.”

Many in the media and politics have thrown their hands up in horror at Trump once again thumbing his nose at international institutions.

But the US used exactly the same methods repeatedly in the past. In the run-up to the war against Iraq in 1990, only two countries in the UN security council opposed the resolution allowing military measures. When Yemen cast one of these votes, the US Ambassador threatened him, “That will be the most expensive vote you ever cast,” and the US immediately cut off £50 million in aid to Yemen

The US tried the same tactics—unsuccessfully—against other states in 2003 as George Bush and Tony Blair tried to get another UN resolution to attack Iraq.

Ruling classes across the world have snubbed Trump. But the only genuine force for change is the Arab masses and workers across the world who can tear down the rulers who maintain the imperialist world order.

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