The United Nations General Assembly is preparing to vote on whether or not to back U.S. President Donald Trump in his push to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but that vote might not be the main drama going on here. Trump is apparently threatening to withhold billions of dollars in aid from countries that vote against him in the UN Jerusalem vote. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is reportedly going to be taking roll call to track which countries vote against Trump’s resolution.
Trump on UN Jerusalem vote: “Let them vote against us”
The UN Jerusalem vote is on a resolution which opposes Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. According to the BBC, earlier this month at the White House, he expressed disgust at the idea of other countries deciding to “vote against us” after taking from the U.S. “hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars.”
“Let them vote against us,” the BBC quotes Trump as saying. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
The Associated Press reports that Haley wrote to the majority of the 193 UN member states and warned that there could be retaliation for voting in favor of the resolution to block Trump’s bid to make Jerusalem Israel’s capital. Following that, Trump reportedly told some of his cabinet members on Wednesday that he liked what she had said regarding nations that oppose him on the UN Jerusalem vote.
Trump’s bid to recognize Jerusalem
Trump declared earlier this month that he plans to move the U.S. Embassy out of Tel Aviv and now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. According to the Independent, other countries have been refusing to make that decision because Jerusalem’s status has long been important in Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. The city’s status is a big part of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, and other countries have never officially recognized Israel’s sovereignty over it. Despite that, Trump has ordered the U.S. State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy.
The UN resolution to block Trump’s attempt to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital doesn’t specifically mention the U.S., but it does call for the cancellation of decisions about the city. The UN Jerusalem vote is scheduled for Thursday in an emergency special session requested by Arab and Muslim states, reports the BBC. Palestinians condemn Trump’s attempt to reverse a policy that has been in place for decades. On Monday, the U.S. vetoed a related vote by the UN Security Council, which would have required that Trump change his decision.