The U.S. has vetoed a United Nations resolution that condemned President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would have forced the President to rescind his decision, according to the Associated Press.
Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the UN, explained the veto by calling the resolution “an insult” and made it clear that the Trump administration will hold fast to its decisions, declaring:
“The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy.”
Every other country on the 14 member Security Council voted for the resolution, but Haley says that her veto was:
“in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process.”
Despite Haley’s attempt to defend our country’s role in brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the territories that the Jewish nation-state has occupied since 1967’s Six-Day War, Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital ignores Palestinian claims on the disputed part of city, East Jerusalem, that the Palestinians insist must be the capital of their nation in any two-state solution to their long-simmering dispute.
In fact, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has explicitly rejected America’s future role as a mediator between the Israelis and his government, declaring that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem is “declaration of withdrawal” from the peace process.
Other countries are ready to jump into the breach to replace the U.S. in the peace process, with Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Vladimir Safronkov offering his country’s services as “an honest mediator” between the Netanyahu government and the Palestinian Authority.
Turkey, the first Muslim majority nation to join NATO, also criticized the American decision on Jerusalem and the UN veto, saying that America has lost its “impartiality” in the conflict. The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the “yes” votes by all of the other Security Council members is “the most concrete indication of the illegitimacy” of America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
With Trump declaring “America First” as the new national foreign policy credo, it’s difficult to reconcile a move that alienates most of the rest of the world outside of Israel as being in the country’s best interest. Unless, of course, you interpret “America First” as meaning that the U.S. will do whatever we want, and screw the rest of the world. With Trump as President, that interpretation may well be the governing mantra.
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