A major news item this month has been Donald Trump’s announcement on 6th December that the USA recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and intend to move their embassy to the city.
That sparked protests around the world, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Those protests led to a meeting of the UN Security Council on 18th December, at which members voted 14 to 1 against the US move, forcing them to use their veto.
The meeting of Security Council was followed by a special meeting of the UN General Assembly on Thursday 21st December, at which 128 nations voted in favour of a resolution calling on the USA to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Just 9 nations voted against the resolution, including the USA and Israel, but 35 abstained.
In her speech to the General Assembly, Nikki Haley said:
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem.
That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do.
No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.”
“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.
And this vote will be remembered.”
Thus the USA is determined to follow this course of action, despite extensive opposition. Some in Israel even view yesterday’s apparently negative vote in a positive light. They note that the number of countries who abstained was larger than usual.
And Benjamin Netanyahu looks to be correct in saying that other countries will follow the American lead. Even today the head of Romania’s parliament has said that his country should “seriously consider” moving its embassy to Jerusalem, citing ‘practical’ reasons for doing so.