The United Nations body’s debate and vote highlighted for a second time in a week the international isolation of the United States over the Jerusalem issue.
The United Nations general assembly has delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump, voting by a huge majority to reject his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The vote came despite a redoubling of threats by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who said that Washington would remember which countries “disrespected” America by voting against it.
Despite the warning, 128 members voted in favour of the resolution in support of the long-standing international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as a capital – can only be settled as an agreed final issue in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Although largely symbolic, the vote in emergency session of the world body had been the focus of days of furious diplomacy by both the Trump administration and Israel, including Trump’s threat to cut US funding to countries that did not back the US recognition.
But on Thursday, only nine states – including the United States and Israel voted against the resolution.
35 countries abstained, including Canada – which Palestinian officials had expected would support the US position. Ambassadors from several abstaining countries, including Mexico, used their time on the podium to criticise Trump’s unilateral move.
Another 21 delegations were absent from the vote, suggesting the Trump’s warning over funding cuts and Israel’s lobbying may have had some effect.
While support for the resolution was somewhat less than Palestinian officials had hoped, the meagre tally of just nine votes in support of the US and Israeli position was a serious diplomatic blow for Trump.