By Mitzpeh Staff
Early this month, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there from Tel Aviv. Following the announcement, there were protests on the West Bank in which Palestinians clashed with Israeli officers. According to CNN, hundreds were injured and four were killed.
Last week, the 139 members of the U.N. voted on whether to reject the U.S. policy, or to follow suit and move their embassies to Jerusalem. While 35 members abstained, only nine countries voted to showed support for the U.S. The other 128 voted in favor of rejecting Trump’s decision. The overwhelming majority vote shows that Trump’s announcement was uncalled for — the U.S. may make changes, but without support from most other countries, Israel’s capital will remain disputed.
Of the nine countries to vote yes, two of them were the U.S. and Israel themselves. Among the other seven, none of them are big influences in world politics, as Guatemala is the most populated country among the group. In fact, three of the countries, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau, aren’t even in the top 200 in world population.
Additionally, while there were 35 countries to abstain, those countries most likely did so just not to upset their relations with the U.S. Canada and Mexico had more to lose from voting against since they are the closest allies of the U.S. The others to abstain, were probably more worried about their relations with the U.S. than where Israel’s capital is located.
The U.N. countries refusing to support Trump’s move was smart even though it will cost them millions of dollars in funding, which U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said is “a big step in the right direction.” However, she also said the U.S. would continue to find ways to help make the U.N. efficient while protecting its own interests.
Though this means most of the U.N. countries are not recognizing the Holy Land as Israel’s capital, it was the right decision. Trump’s decision led to violence and death of thousands from miles away. If it sparks this kind of response now, it surely will lead to worse consequences in the future. The vote to support keeping embassies where they are indicates that most other members of the U.N. are attempting to keep the peace. In the past, the U.S. has tried to broker peace in the Middle East; notably with the Camp David Accords in 1978 and the Oslo Accords beginning in 1993.
The Trump Administration, despite fulfilling a campaign promise and showing support for Israel, is hurting the possibilities of future peace negotiations. If this conflict is ever to be resolved, Israel’s allies shouldn’t push to the point of no return.