Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed a United Nations vote to reject US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The resolution condemning the Trump administration’s move was passed with overwhelming support on Thursday.
A total of 128 countries voted in favour of the resolution, while only nine voted against it. There were 35 absentions, including Australia. Rowan Dean took to Twitter to express his disappointment in Australia’s betrayal, stating:
Every Australian should hang their head in shame today. By abstaining at the U.N. our govt has betrayed an ally we promised to support only months ago (Israel) and betrayed the one nation that is most critical to our security and prosperity (the US)
— Rowan Dean (@rowandean) December 21, 2017
Prior to the vote, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, warned:
When a nation is singled out for attack in this organization, that nation is disrespected. What’s more, that nation is asked to pay for the privilege of being disrespected. In the case of the United States, we are asked to pay more than anyone else for that dubious privilege.
The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the general assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon, to once again, make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.
America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do. And it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office was released after the vote: “Israel is grateful to President Trump for his steadfast position on Jerusalem, and thanks the nations that voted with Israel, and with the truth.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also released a statement on Facebook reminding Israeli’s, “this is the same UN about which our first ambassador to the organization, Abba Eban, once said: ‘If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions. This is nothing new for the UN.” Liberman went on to praise the US, describing them as “the moral beacon that shines out of the darkness.”
President Trump has responded to the vote stating: “For all of these nations who take our money and then vote against us… 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 them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care… People are tired, the United States people that live here, our great citizens that love this country, they’re tired of this country being taken advantage of. And we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”