Yesterday, 128 countries voted in favour of a United Nation’s General Assembly resolution demanding Washington rescind its 6 December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Switzerland was among them.
A clear majority was in favour (74%) – 128 voted for, 9 against, with 35 abstentions.
US-friendly countries voting in favour included Germany, France, Britain and Japan. Some others like Canada and Australia, abstained. The nations voting against it were Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, and the United States.
The resolution follows a failed Security Council attempt to adopt a similar resolution on the issue on 18 December 2017.
A UN press release said ahead of this earlier attempt, Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council that the security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory had become more tense in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision on 6 December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Resolutions in the Assembly are non-binding and do not carry the force of international law as do measures agreed in the Security Council, but the vote indicates the extent to which the Trump administration’s departure from a 50-year international consensus on Jerusalem’s status has unsettled world politics and contributed to America’s diplomatic isolation, said the New York Times.
Israel denounced Thursday’s UN vote, likening it to a 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, said the newspaper.
Speaking to the New York Times, Stewart Patrick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said “In this case what you had was the Trump administration basically changing the rules of the game that the international community had accepted,” he said. “More than that, I think it symbolizes the self-defeating notion that for the United States, ‘it’s my way or the highway.’ ’’
The Economist reported that President Donald Trump had said he would be watching closely, having threatened to cut aid to countries that supported the resolution.