New York (GPA) – In a move that comes as no surprise, the US has used their veto power in the UNSC Al Quds vote.
The United States today found itself again playing the role of the lone dissenter at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as they vetoed a resolution that would have run counter to the Trump regime’s claim of Jerusalem (AL Quds) as the capital of Israel.
The resolution, proposed by Egypt, would have rejected any sovereignty claims over Al Quds by Israel, a position held by the council for around 50 years. The resolution also directly addressed Trump’s proposal to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Al Quds
The veto by the US is the first one used by the new ambassador Nikki Haley, who said “Today, for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty,” she said. “The record will reflect that we did so proudly.” While Haley may be proud of her decision, the US has sparked controversy across the world (hence the 14-1 vote) she did still have to account for the US role in the Middle East peace process. Among the voices pointing out what he called a “glaring bias” by the US towards Israel was Palestinian ambassador Riyad H. Mansour, who said the US veto “undermined its role in any future peace process.”
While Trump still claims to have a Palestine-Israel peace plan in the works which he promises to unveil “shortly,” even friendly nations in the Middle East are now saying the US cannot be trusted to broker a deal (not that they ever should have been). Haley briefly addressed these concerns, saying “Our hand remains extended to both parties … We call on all countries that share this commitment to learn the hard lessons of the past and work to bring Israel and the Palestinian people in good faith to the peace table.”
The only person who did thank Haley for her “courageous stance” was Israeli ambassador Danny Danon who claims the US position is the only fair one since “Every other country in the world has the right to designate its capital city. But when it comes to Israel, somehow this most basic national right is questioned and condemned.” Danon also complained about the US abstention last year under the Obama regime on a vote that declared Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.
1 year ago, in this same Security Council chamber, 14 countries voted for a shameful resolution. The US abstained – the resolution passed.
Today, 14 countries voted for another shameful resolution. This time the US vetoed.
Thank you Amb @nikkihaley for your courageous stance.
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) December 18, 2017
Israeli Prime Minister also took to Twitter to share a congraulatory video, honoring Haley for speaking “like a Maccabee” and saying to her that “You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies.”
Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley. pic.twitter.com/zFIiStoait
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 18, 2017
Ambassador Mansour also said in his statement that the US had “missed this opportunity” to correct their mistake which puts them on the “wrong side of history.” Mansour promised that the Palestinian people would continue the struggle and that as far as they are concerned “[Trump’s] decision has no legal effect on the status of Jerusalem.” While Haley may have looked strong in the face of these condemnations around the world, it’s still obviously known in Washington that the situation around Al Quds is volatile, with the latest evidence coming in the form of a cancellation of a trip by US Vice-President Mike Pence to the city.
With the whole world against Nikki Haley today perhaps she should remember the lengths she’s going to for Israel especially since she’s constantly accusing nations such as Russia of unethically protecting their allies. Tension is still continuing to rise over the state of Al Quds and today’s veto is just the next step in a chain of events that isn’t even close to over.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.