Nations of World at UN Humiliate Trump w/ Massive vote for Palestinians

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Arab and Muslim worlds exulted Thursday over their massive victory at the United Nations General Assembly, which passed a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Despite his crude threats to cut off US aid to countries who bucked him only 9 countries actively backed Trump up here. And if you look hard, they are more Pacific postage stamp islands for the most part than what most people would think of as, like, you know, countries. Trump’s sycophants included Palau, Nauru, Micronesia (FS), and Togo.

128 countries voted a straight “no!” in Trump’s face, including France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Turkey etc. etc. In other words both the richest and the most populous countries in the world condemned Trump’s announcement.

In fact, of course, 14 members of the UN Security Council had already voted against Trump, but he stopped their resolution by exercising the US veto.

Was anybody afraid of the threats from the Bonnie and Clyde of international diplomacy, Trump and Nikki Haley? No. Afghanistan and Pakistan are both big US aid recipients and both voted “no!” Turkey voted no despite being NATO (like Britain, France, etc.)

Most of the 35 countries that abstained did so because of their own internal politics. Australia may have abstained to please Trump, but the fact is that its government is extremely pro-Israel, so actually an abstention is a kind of slap in the face to Trump and Netanyahu. The same could be said for the Czech Republic and Hungary.

To tell you the truth I have no idea why Mexico abstained, but I am confident that it was not because of fear of Trump or wanting to make nice with him.

Anyway, the bulk of the world, and as I said, both the wealthiest and the most populous nations, rebuked the US president.

Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan spoke for a lot of the world when he told Trump, “you cannot buy our will with dollars. Erdogan lamented that the US, the cradle of democracy, had stooped to buying international votes with its aid.

The foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that the world had rejected Trump’s hostile attempts at scaring people.

As I noted yesterday, the US only gives out $42 bn. in aid a year, about 1 percent of the Federal budget, and most of it goes to a handful of countries– Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, etc. In fact if it weren’t for the Israel lobbies getting Congress to throw so much money at Israel and Egypt (a bribe to keep it in Camp David), the US would be giving out almost no civilian aid. Israel is a prosperous country that does not need US aid, and truly needy countries get peanuts from Washington.

So the threat of an aid cut-off just did not matter to most countries.

In fact, most of them voted on principle and in accordance with international law.

Trump’s move violated UN Security Council resolution 470 478 of 1980, which was passed without a US veto after the then Israeli government tried to grab all of Jerusalem. The divided city, with Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods, was never awarded to Israel by any international body or law, and simply stealing your neighbor’s territory through aggressive warfare is forbidden by the UN Charter as of 1945, what with the world wanting to stop any further Axis-like behavior and all. Most Palestinians insist that East Jerusalem become the capital of the forthcoming Palestinian state. The point is that the status of Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations among the parties, not unilateral fiats of Trump’s rash sort.

The countries of the world would not like to be treated the way Israel is treating the Palestinians, and they don’t want a free-for-all over neighbors’ territory and they don’t want the US going around bullying people into acquiescing in severe human rights violations.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

United Nations: “UN General Assembly Vote on Status of Jerusalem”

27 Responses

  1. Trump’s threat worked to the extent that 63 countries (plus the US and Israel) heeded his warning and did not vote for the resolution that 128 did. Only 9 voted no (including the illegitimate government of Honduras and the US mideast and Pacific dependencies), but 35 abstained (including Canada and Australia) and 21 were afraid to even show up.

    • Ironically they call the the 150 non-dependencies “puppets” (I can’t imagine who the puppet-masters are supposed to be):

      Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon called the UN a “collection of hypocrites and ‘puppets’ ” who, he said, are “forced to dance while the Palestinian leadership looks on with glee.”

    • The taking of names may have very sinister undertones. Recall that the Swedish Foreign Minister was threatened with assassination and they mention Count Folke, whom they assassinated in Palestine.

  2. Apparently the Hon. Nikki Hayley, is hosting a party inviting the handful of nations that supported them by voting against the resolution, and who abstained, to thank them for their support.
    You have got to wonder if Togo, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, and others, who voted with the US and Israel, had their arms twisted, and were fearful their lunch money would be stopped. This was a resounding rejection of US/Israeli policies, and it is heartening to know that nations like Germany, the UK, France, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, and many others, were not threatened, nor intimated by thuggish threats by Haley.
    This is Trump paying the piper. Sheldon Adelson and wife donating more than 100 million dollars towards Trump’s campaign, and Nikki Hayley also a recipient of that American zionist’s generosity, worked hard, with Netanyahu’s backing, to do what no other president has done. All previous Presidents have stated that they would not be moving the embassy to Jerusalem for security reasons, and here comes the orange bull in the china shop, doing exactly that.

      • Indeed what?

        Micronesia has the population of 105 thousand
        Nauru 10 thousand
        Palau 21 thousand
        Marshall Islands 53 thousand

        The USA’s and Israel’s dynamic and influential Pacific support group has together the population of less than 200 thousand. The population of a medium size town.

        Maybe F-35’s are a bit useless to these countries. But the tens of millions USA pays to them for their votes means some dollars per inhabitant. It would be interesting to know who pays the costs of the UN personnel of these tiny island states or if they have no own ambassadors are their votes automatically connected to USA’s voting buttons.

        • Since these are the first countries that are going to cease to exist due to the global warming that Trump denies, he’s going to have a hard time explaining the unanimous votes against the US that will soon be coming.

  3. Never one to admit defeat I expect Trump to announce….”I was never for asking the UN to accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. That was all Nikki Haley’s idea. Believe me!”

  4. The important thing to note here, is that Trump/Haley/Netanyahu et al, DO NOT RECOGNIZE OR CARE what the rest of the world thinks. They’re in an alternate reality where might is right and force can prevail indefinitely.

    With a straight face, in the face of this defeat, they began to talk about being picked on for “their right to speak,” which flies directly in the face of their actions against BDS. Also, the premise of that response would be that the 128 countries voting against them do not have such a right. Quite telling, really.

    No, the real point to take from this and many other current actions is the current proliferation of shamelessness. This will be Trump’s legacy, even if he drops dead tomorrow: that nothing is too low, base, blatant or shameless.

    The most in-your-face example at the moment being the tax bill now being signed. Whereas before, the GOP did whatever they felt they could to serve their real masters, they would hesitate at some point, sensing that the People wouldn’t stand for anything more if they were too obvious.

    Now, with the example of Trump, they have found evidence they have been giving their voters way too much credit, and that there is actually no bottom to their stupidity. Permanent tax cuts for corporations and the seriously wealthy, with the most modest ones are granted temporary for others, passing the bill for all this on to another generation while they loot. (And it isn’t as though Ann Rand didn’t have something to say about looters, which they conveniently ignore). Their actions are all so obvious, but they think they will wash because of the electorate’s underlying stupidity and lack of memory. All this ostensibly in service to a trickle-down economic strategy which has been disproven by the consensus of credible economic research as well as the definitive experience of the Reagan administration when they tried it.

    At the point at which this all implodes, its pretty clear these guys will just make up an alternative narrative that will predictably blame it all on the Democrats. If they recognize it at all…

    But, to get back to manifest religious destiny, which has always been Israel’s trump card, maybe they’ll just say the coming, inevitable turn in Israel’s fortunes will be due to a failure to totally believe. You know, the bottom-line of faith healers and snake handlers, from time immemorial.

  5. Unfortunately the deserved humiliation of Trump will also extend to America itself as more people become aware of the self serving purpose of US aid.

  6. I wonder whether Jerusalem’s recognition as the capital by the US mirrors, or better reciprocates, the recognition of Crimea (and the dubious NovaRossia as well ) as a part of Russia. Maybe it would make sense to this “curious” idea.

    • It does fit into a pattern of the erosion of the principle that violent annexation of land is the root cause of war and must be abolished. We’ve all forgotten in the last 75 years that the wars of ideology and partition and proxies which we’ve bemoaned are quite tiny compared to the wars of empire fought directly between the world’s largest and most advanced countries. Being cynical because we still have many wars, we’ve lost sight of the importance of the bedrock principle that nations must not profit from expanding their borders.

  7. Tis the season to be thankful. First, thankful for the political leadership so abjectly corrupt and incompetent that almost nothing got accomplished (certainly nothing beneficial to the citizenry) and what did get accomplished has been such huberistic over-reach and detrimental to the majority of the citizenry that it will lead to a better USA by 2020 and beyond. Maybe the 2018 elections won’t signal much change, but come April 15, 2019 and thereafter, Republicans and their sponsors may cease to exist as a force in American politics for a very long time. So let us celebrate with them this holiday season. The tax legislation to which they glowingly toast will be the stake through their heart, the silver bullet, the final nail in the Republican coffin. Just as Trump has undone much of Obama’s executive efforts on the environment, social justice, consumer protection and justice, net neutrality, corporate crime and malfeasance, etc., so to will Trumps be undone, probably before much harm can be accomplished. We will see a sweeping shift away from rule by the oligarchs and their minions, a true draining of the swamp in reaction to the recent election of Trump and Republicans to a Congress seen by Americans as captured and corrupted by billionaires and their corporations and lobbyists. Incumbent Democrats, if not the other side of the same coin, have been abjectly derelict and ineffective. They to will go. Let us rejoice that Trump and his henchmen have done what few before him have accomplished…issued a truly loud wake-up call to complacent American citizenry, one that will not be ignored.

    • You’re acting as though there won’t be anyone fighting on the other side. People who believe that it’s every man for himself – and taking the oligarch’s blood money is the only solution. People who hate the objective meaning of Trump’s policies but have been indoctrinated to believe that their duty is to their tribal chieftains and the extermination of the Other. People who want a civil war just for the sake of finally getting out their guns and killing the other Americans who, honestly, are more genuinely their enemies than any foreigner.

      Remember, the American Civil War started with 40,000,000 Americans, only 9,000,000 living in the seceding states, and only 5,000,000 of those actual free White citizens. Even that group was more deeply divided on secession than the media was reporting.

      Yet that war was a close-run thing, because it always came down to the willingness of everyone else to make the sacrifices to keep fighting despite years of incompetence and failure in the battlefield. The CSA, like the Nazis and Japanese afterwards, gambled and lost the bet that their enemies would get tired of fighting and go home. But no one who’s made that bet against the American people since 1945 has been proven wrong.

      Bets are being placed again on who’s more willing to go all the way.

  8. Before the end of the Clinton Administration there was a similar vote in Fall of 2000: 120-3, the three being Israel,USA and Micronesia. About four months later another one resulted 126-6,the six were the earlier three plus Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. In Winter 2001 this was followed by 115-2, you know who were the two. Perhaps it was too cold for some reps to show up.
    All this in the face of major lobbying by the USUN mission, one of our largest embassies! Not much has changed….but Nikki Haley,s conduct has gone way over the top.

  9. “Trump’s move violated UN Security Council resolution 470 of 1980, which was passed without a US veto after the then Israeli government tried to grab all of Jerusalem.” – Juan Cole

    Question: Is this a typo? Should this be U.N. Security Council resolution 478?

    “Resolution 478: August 20, 1980, condemned in “the strongest terms” the enactment of Israeli law proclaiming a change in status of Jerusalem. The resolution called on all states “that have established diplomatic missions” in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the city.” – link to

    • No, there was also Security Council Resolution 470 adopted on 30 May 1980, which called on all parties to implement Resolution 338, which had been adopted on 22 October 1973. Both resolutions were adopted with 14 votes to none.

  10. Abstaining or staying away are hardly expressions of support. It is not necessary to have opinions about everything. The nation’s that failed to vote yes or no may simply not have had an interest in getting involved in the issue. The fact that it matters passionately to some does not mean it matters to everyone one way or the other.

  11. By inviting all those who abstained or stayed away, Haley is claiming them as supporters which translates as ‘any not against us are for us’. A preposterous piece of nonsense. Interesting to see how many send their regrets and plead prior engagements.

  12. Russian intelligence asset Donald J. Trump doesn’t give a flying •••• what ‘The World’ thinks about him.

    He got the attention his defect craves.

  13. Mexico and Canada abstained (but at least they were there to give a point of view, which Canada did, unlike the 21 no shows). Both were motivated by internal politics.

    Mexico fears that the U.S. will abandon the current talks on renegotiating NAFTA, either having no NA trade agreement or a bilateral one with Canada.

    Canada’s situation is a little more complicated. It strongly supports all UN resolutions on Jerusalem and has said so repeatedly in the last few days. The abstention was to ensure that Canada:

    1. Will not be on Trump’s naughty countries list.
    2. Israeli lobby in Canada will not leave the Liberal party, which could put the rightist Conservatives back in power.
    3. Canada can remain neutral as honest broker in future negotiations.
    4. NAFTA will succeed.

  14. LIttle Nikki must have contracted writer’s cramp recording all those names on her sh+t list. She reminds of the local Junior Leaguer castigating those who fail to deliver on their cookie pledges.

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