In blow to US and Israel, UN rejects US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

Washington: A majority of world’s nation including India in United Nations General Assembly denounced the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 128 of the 193 members on Thursday voted in favour of a resolution calling on the United States to withdraw its decision.

Trump had earlier threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour. Ignoring Trump’s threats a total of 128 countries backed the resolution, nine voted against and 35 abstained from the voting.

Although the resolution is nonbinding and therefore largely symbolic, but the overwhelming rejection of the American shift of position on Jerusalem on the world’s biggest diplomatic stage is setback for US president who is still looking for a major foreign achievement after nearly a year on the job.

Major US allies like Britain, France, Germany and Japan all voted for the resolution, though some allies, like Australia and Canada, abstained.JeruIndia did not speak on the floor of the Assembly in New York, but Jerusalem after Trump recognised the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it had said that its Palestine position was independent and consistent.

The American ambassador, Nikki R. Haley, called the vote “null and void,” declaring that “no vote in the United Nations will make any difference” on the decision to move the embassy, which she called “the right thing to do.”

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly. We will remember it when we are called upon to, once again, make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations,” Haley told the General Assembly.

Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki said, “History records names, it remembers names — the names of those who stand by what is right and the names of those who speak falsehood”. “Today we are seekers of rights and peace”, he added.

The General Assembly resolution, drafted by Yemen and Turkey, cited numerous past resolutions on Jerusalem and urged nations to “refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions.” The consensus under international law is that East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, should be the future capital of a Palestinian state.

The eight countries that joined the US in voting against the Turkish resolution were Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo.

Earlier this month, Trump reversed decades of US policy by announcing the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would move its embassy there.

“The State of Israel totally rejects this vote, even before (the resolution’s) approval,” Netanyahu said in a speech in the port city of Ashdod in Israel.