UN Vote on Jerusalem
A UN security council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been backed by every council member except the US, which used its veto.
The unanimity of the rest of the council was a stark rebuke to the Trump administration over its unilateral move earlier this month, which upended decades of international consensus.
The Egyptian-drafted resolution did not specifically mention the US or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem”.
A spokesman for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, responded to the veto by saying it was “unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it”.
The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UN security council resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city’s final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as “an insult” that would not be forgotten. “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” she said.
“It’s scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts,” she added. “The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council.”
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted: “Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump.”