Though the United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 on Thursday in favor of denouncing US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the US Ambassador and Israeli Prime Minister perceived the results as an improvement on previous anti-Israel resolutions.
The US, Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Guatemala, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Honduras voted against the resolution. Significantly, There were 35 abstentions, including a number of countries that were expected to support the resolution, such as Colombia, Mexico, Malawi, and Rwanda. Significantly, Hungary, Croatia, Latvia, Romania and the Czech Republic abstaining, rejecting the European Union consensus to support the resolution. An additional 21 countries did not vote at all.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas considered the results of the vote to be a Palestinian victory over the US.
“This decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of international law, and no decision by any party can change the reality,” Abbas said in a statement, saying it proved, “that Jerusalem is occupied territory under international law.
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told AFP the vote was “a massive setback” for Washington and an “act of aggression”.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint (Arab) List Knesset Party, said the resolution served as “a slap in the face to the policies of Donald Trump and (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu.”
“Those who support today’s resolution are like puppets pulled by the strings of the Palestinian puppet masters,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said. “You are like marionettes forced to dance while the Palestinian leadership looks on with glee.”
Israeli Prime Minister posted a video on his Facebook page critical of the UN vote, which he referred to as a” preposterous resolution”. Nonetheless, he was pleased that “a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theater of the absurd”. He ended the video with high-praise for President Trump and Ambassador Haley for their “stalwart defense of truth”.
The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley was also unfazed by the seemingly one-sided vote.
The vote is in– 65 countries refused to condemn the United States and 128 voted against us. Final vote tally to follow.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 21, 2017
Haley apparently likes the odds of 128 against 65, as long as the US and Israel are firmly allied together.