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Op-Ed: US isolated at UN after acting like a bully

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    16:18, December 22, 2017

In a rare emergency special session, the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to condemn U.S. President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, despite threats of retaliation from the United States.

A total of 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine voted “no,” and 35 others abstained. The nine countries that voted against the text were Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, as well as the United States and Israel.

The vote is non-binding, but a resounding “yes” reflects the collective will of the international community.

The resolution affirms that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

It also demands that all UN member states comply with resolutions regarding Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.

But before the vote, the U.S. acted like a bully, intimidating all UN member states in an effort to try to influence the outcome of the vote in its favor, framing the entire situation as “them” aggression against the United States.

The American ambassador, Nikki Haley, issued a direct threat, saying that the countries who vote in favor of the resolution would be punished, a move which even former CIA Director John Brennan slammed as “beyond outrageous.”

In a letter of warning, Haley wrote, “The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us.” She also invited the good voters to a "friendship party."

“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,” Trump said on Wednesday.

“Well, we’re watching those votes,” he said. “Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack,” Haley said prior to the vote on Thursday, adding that the plan will move forward, regardless of the vote. “America will put our embassy in Jerusalem,” she added. “No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.”

What is most troubling about this vote is not that the majority of UN members rebuked the United States, but that United States employed strong-arm tactics to try to undermine the collective will of the international community.

It shows that the U.S. remains focused on dominance, and that international institutions should serve the interests of the United States. But it also revealed the limits of U.S. influence and adds further evidence to the claim that America is out of step with the world.

“This vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN,” Haley said in her closing remarks. But the truth of the matter is that the United States disrespected the global community by threatening to retaliate against nations that exercise their sovereign rights to oppose the U.S. position, and massively overplayed its hand.

And now the United States looks like a sore loser and is isolated at the UN.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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