NEW YORK — President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote to pass a United Nations General Assembly resolution seeking to rescind his historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump told reporters at the White House, according to Reuters.
After the U.S. on Monday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved, the Palestinians asked Arab and Muslim nations take a similar draft to the 193-member UN General Assembly for a nonbinding but symbolic vote to take place at a rare emergency special session on Thursday. Turkey and Yemen are sponsors of the draft.
In a letter to dozens of member states, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that “the president and the U.S. take this vote personally.”
The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue,” she wrote.
The president’s announcement does not affect final status negotiations in any way, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem,” Haley added. “The president also made sure to support the status quo of Jerusalem’s holy sites.
On Twitter, Haley warned that the U.S. “will be taking names” of countries and their decision on the General Assembly resolution.
At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names. pic.twitter.com/ZsusB8Hqt4
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 19, 2017
The General Assembly draft mirrors the Security Council resolution vetoed by the U.S. on Monday. While not specifically mentioning Trump’s Jerusalem decision, that resolution stated “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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
Besides the U.S., every other member of the 14 party Security Council voted in favor of the Security Council resolution.
The draft resolution text seems telling. It sought to nullify “decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem.”
The phraseology seems hypocritical for a UN Security Council that passed an anti-Israel resolution last year, due to the Obama administration’s abstention, attempting to alter the status of Jerusalem.
The text of that resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.” In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas.
Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state. In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.