Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and others have defied the broad consensus of other European Union members by abstaining on a United Nations General Assembly vote to condemn U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The move is not the first time the Czech, Polish, and Hungarian governments have not been lockstep with other members of the political bloc on the Jerusalem issue.
The three nations were also joined by Croatia, Romania, and Latvia.
Earlier this month following the U.S. announcement, the Hungarian government blocked an official EU statement that was meant to express “serious” concern regarding the move.
However, Hungary has said they are presently not considering joining the United States in moving their embassy to Jerusalem, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban commenting: “Hungary sees no reason to change its Middle East policy. We will continue with the balanced politics we have been pursuing.”
President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman has expressed a different opinion, saying that he wanted his country to follow in the footsteps of the United States and move their embassy as well.
Czech Prez: Europe Is ‘Jeopardised by a Culture of Hatred Incompatible with Ours’, Israel a ‘Heroic Model for Us’ https://t.co/FybQnUyfkf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 19, 2017
President Zeman also slammed the European Union’s reaction to the move, declaring: “The European Union, cowards, are doing all they can so a pro-Palestinian terrorist movement can have supremacy over a pro-Israeli movement”.
The leader of the populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and new Austrian Vice-chancellor, Heinz Christian Strache, has also expressed a desire to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.
As early as July Mr Strache called for the international community to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, saying it would be “absurd” not to.
The vote to condemn the United States’ move was also tabled at the UN Security Council, but was vetoed by the U.S.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has said her country will “take names” of those who condemned the move, and President Donald Trump has mentioned the possibility of cutting back U.S. aid to countries backing such anti-Israel motions.