Friday, 22 December 2017

Joy to the World–UN General Assembly Defies Trump and Nikki Haley

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I was waiting for some good news to post along with that most joyous of all Christmas carols, and the news came today: the UN General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority, has resisted blatant intimidation efforts by President Trump and his sidekick Nikki Haley.
Over the past couple of days both Trump and Haley had issued statements implying cutoffs of US aid to any country which failed to side with Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem–an issue that was addressed in a momentous vote today in the General Assembly.
So I guess we can assume the US will continue giving aid to Micronesia, Palau, the Marshal Islands, Togo, Nauru, Guatemala, Honduras…and of course Israel…but other than these eight, not a single country stood with the US in opposition to a resolution declaring the embassy move a violation of international law.
The measure passed by a vote of 128-9 with 35 abstentions.
The text of the resolution reads in part:
Guided by the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
Bearing in mind the specific status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need for the protection and preservation of the unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions of the City, as foreseen in the relevant United Nations resolutions,
Stressing that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions,
Expressing in this regard its deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,
Affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council;
The following is a report from RT on the historic vote.
128 Countries Vote in Favor of UN Call for US to Withdraw Jerusalem Decision
The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution calling on the US to reverse its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. One hundred and twenty eight countries backed the motion.
Nine states voted against the UN resolution and 35 nations abstained. The voting took place at a rare UN General Assembly (UNGA) emergency meeting, convened Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim nations.
The outcome of the UNGA vote was hailed as a “victory” by Palestine. “We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudainah said.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister praised the decision after the vote, saying, that it “once again showed that dignity and sovereignty are not for sale.
The voting was preceded by a number of member states explaining their stance on the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Turkey, which has led the Muslim opposition to the US Jerusalem declaration, was among the first to speak at the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that only a two-state solution and sticking to the 1967 borders can be a foundation for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. The minister said that since Jerusalem is the cradle for the “three monotheistic religions,” all of humanity should come together to preserve the status quo.
The recent decision of a UN member state to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel violates the international law, including all relevant UN resolutions. This decision is an outrageous assault on all universal values,” Cavusoglu said.
US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said that whatever decision is made by the UNGA, it will not influence Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Haley reminded UN members of the US’ generous contributions to the organization and said that the United States expects its will to be respected in return.
When we make a generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognized and respected,” Haley said, adding that the vote will be “remembered” by the US and “make a difference on how the Americans look at the UN.”
It may comes as a surprise to Haley, but there are Americans who are gladdened by  the UN vote, and who see the 128 countries which voted in favor of the resolution as taking a stand on principle–something we see very rarely in votes held in the US Congress (or the UN either, for that matter), particularly when it comes to Israel.
Joy to the world!
Perhaps all the lost sheep are coming home.
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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