Go ahead and mark the date on the calendar, you’ll remember this day. Earlier today the United Nations voted in favor of a nonbinding resolution declaring President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.”
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered remarks noting the likely consequence prior to the vote taking place. [Full transcript and video below] Believe me, this will not end well for the U.N:
The entire enterprise of the U.N. is supported by slightly less than half of all Americans. The modern irrelevance of (and general antagonism within) the U.N. has been a less visible but decades-long discussion throughout most political circles.
It is doubtful the U.N. realizes the consequential difference of this moment with President Donald Trump at the helm of commonsense U.S. foreign policy.
In our lifetime few figures represent the level of righteous American swagger as seen carried by President Donald Trump. He is not beholden to traditional diplomatic circular triple-speak; and he carries the desire to eliminate anything he views as against American interests. This is a critical point most often overlooked.
President Trump does not want to correct policy that is against U.S. interests. President Trump desires to DESTROY policy that is against U.S. interests. There is a profound difference. Put your national interests on the other side of the “U.S. best interest” equation; and there is no limit to the pain President Trump is willing to inflict upon your decision. FACT.
From President Trump’s stewardship viewpoint: America will give respect and America deserves respect.
Violate that simple principle, without permission from his administration to do so, and POTUS Trump will methodically, strategically, heck, often personally, crush that opponent with severe and extreme economic prejudice.
[Transcript] Thank you, Mr. President.
To its shame, the United Nations has long been a hostile place for the state of Israel. Both the current and the previous Secretary-Generals have objected to the UN’s disproportionate focus on Israel. It’s a wrong that undermines the credibility of this institution, and that in turn is harmful for the entire world.
I’ve often wondered why, in the face of such hostility, Israel has chosen to remain a member of this body. And then I remember that Israel has chosen to remain in this institution because it’s important to stand up for yourself. Israel must stand up for its own survival as a nation; but it also stands up for the ideals of freedom and human dignity that the United Nations is supposed to be about.
Standing here today, being forced to defend sovereignty and the integrity of my country – the United States of America – many of the same thoughts have come to mind. The United States is by far the single largest contributor to the United Nations and its agencies. We do this, in part, in order to advance our values and our interests. When that happens, our participation in the UN produces great good for the world. Together we feed, clothe, and educate desperate people. We nurture and sustain fragile peace in conflict areas throughout the world. And we hold outlaw regimes accountable. We do this because it represents who we are. It is our American way.
But we’ll be honest with you. When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our good will is recognized and respected. 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. Unlike in some UN member countries, the United States government is answerable to its people. As such, we have an obligation to acknowledge when our political and financial capital is being poorly spent.
We have an obligation to demand more for our investment. And if our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our resources in more productive ways. Those are the thoughts that come to mind when we consider the resolution before us today.
The arguments about the President’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem have already been made. They are by now well known. The decision was in accordance to U.S. law dating back to 1995, and it’s position has been repeatedly endorsed by the American people ever since. The decision does not prejudge any final status issues, including Jerusalem’s boundaries. The decision does not preclude a two-state solution, if the parties agree to that. The decision does nothing to harm peace efforts. Rather, the President’s decision reflects the will of the American people and our right as a nation to choose the location of our embassy. There is no need to describe it further.
Instead, there is a larger point to make. 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.
But 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. And this vote will be remembered.