(ANTIMEDIA) New York City — The Trump administration received a concerted middle finger from much of the rest of the world on Thursday when it learned very publicly that its longstanding bullying tactics may be losing their effectiveness. From the New York Times:
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“In a collective act of defiance toward Washington, the General Assembly voted 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, to demand that the United States rescind its Dec. 6 declaration on Jerusalem, the contested holy city.”
The United Nations resolution, drafted by Turkey and Yemen, was the second condemning Trump’s decision to upend decades’ worth of internationally recognized policy on the hornet’s nest that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The first resolution, written by Egypt, went before the fifteen-member U.N. Security Council on December 18. United States delegate Nikki Haley vetoed the draft while all fourteen other member nations voted in favor of it.
It was Haley, in a letter sent to U.N. member nations on Tuesday, who fanned the flames of what was already a controversial decision — which includes moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — on the part of the Trump administration. She wrote that the president would be watching Thursday’s vote “carefully” and that he’d “requested I report back on those countries who voted against us.”
She echoed the warning on Wednesday via Twitter, claiming the embassy move was “the will of the American ppl” and that the U.S. would be “taking names” of those who stand against the decision.
Trump praised Haley’s effort at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. This was also when he made the threat to cut off financial assistance to nations opposing the will of the United States:
“I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations, for all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the assembly. They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us, well, we’re watching those votes. Let ’em vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
Following Thursday’s lopsided vote, a defeated Haley said the U.S. would “remember this day” on which it was “singled out for attack in the General Assembly.” Continuing, Haley reiterated her president’s position, saying the administration wouldn’t forget the affront when it was “called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”
But it was precisely this threatening tone that rubbed so many people the wrong way in the first place, and some took the opportunity to speak on the subject once the vote had been tallied.
“The world is not for sale,” said Venezuela’s representative to the U.N., Samuel Moncada Acosta, adding that U.S. threats “imperil global peace.”
Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki produced a comparable sentiment, stating that Palestine “will not be threatened” and that the Trump administration, with its action regarding Jerusalem, is “ignoring the dangerous repercussions of its decision.”
Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour questioned the motivations behind the U.S. decision itself:
“What does this decision serve? It serves the Israeli government in implementing its colonial plans. It serves the powers of extremism.”
Mansour then highlighted that even stalwart U.S. allies such as Britain and France voted in favor of the resolution.
“Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated,” he asked, “and why even its closest allies couldn’t turn a blind eye to this decision?”
Fittingly, in his comments, the foreign minister of Turkey — one of the two drafters of the resolution — used the word that best sums up the U.S. strategy to get countries to play ball on the vote: bullying.
Calling Trump’s decision on Jerusalem “an outrageous assault to all universal values,” Mevlut Cavusoglu vocalized what many appeared to be thinking.
“This is bullying,” he said. “We will not be intimidated.” Then, addressing the U.S. directly, he added: “You can be strong, but this doesn’t make you right.”
Despite such unified opposition, the Trump administration remains resolute. Nikki Haley has already rejected the U.N. vote and said that plans regarding Jerusalem, including moving the U.S. embassy there, will go forward as scheduled.