United Nations Balks at US Threats on Jerusalem

MANHATTAN (CN) — Undeterred by threats to its funding, the United Nations voted 128-9 Thursday to denounce America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

President Donald Trump announced the policy departure on Dec. 6, beginning a process under which the U.S. State Department will move America’s embassy to the divided holy city from Tel Aviv.

With 35 nations abstaining, the nonbinding resolution passed Thursday by the U.N. General Assembly declares Trump’s decision “null and void.”

The U.S. vetoed a similar resolution by the U.N. Security Council on Monday, and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned on Twitter that she would be “taking names” as the measure moved to full General Assembly.

Haley’s tweet failed to quash Thursday’s vote, but speaker after speaker signaled that they got the message.

“The world is not for sale, and your threats imperil global peace,” Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said before the body.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also rebuked the embassy move.

“Does not the United States wonder why it stands isolated in this position, which is being rejected near and far,” he asked.

Traditional allies of the United States have also failed to support the policy move.

The liberal Israeli newpaper Ha’aretz reported that Canada had planned initially to side with the United States against Thursday’s U.N. resolution, but Haley’s tweet pushed it the other way. To avoid being perceived as a U.S. “puppet,” Canada switched to an abstention.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu offered a more vocal response.

“This is unacceptable,” he said of Haley’s threat. “This is bullying.”

Turkey co-sponsored the resolution, which was introduced by Yemen.

Haley denied in her General Assembly speech today that Trump’s policy change would hurt negotiations on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

“The decision does not prejudge final status issues, including Jerusalem’s boundaries,” she said.

Saying the U.S. government has the right to put its embassy anywhere it pleases, Haley also emphasized that the United States remains far and away the largest funder of the United Nations.

“To its shame, the United Nations has … been a hostile place to the state of Israel,” she said.

Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon denounced Thursday’s vote as “shameful.”

“This vote is nothing more than a performance of delusion,” he said.

Before the vote, Danon provided members of the General Assembly with replicas of a coin he held up in his speech. Saying it dates back to the year 60 A.D., Danon said the coin illustrates Israel’s historic ties to Jerusalem.

This story is developing…

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