Trump Must Follow through with His UN Threats

    Brett D. Schaefer

    Politics, Middle East

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley waits to testify to the House Appropriations State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on the budget for the U.N.

    If the Trump administration wants to succeed in brokering a peace deal, then the pattern of funding the Palestinians regardless of their intransigence and provocations must be broken.

    Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel complied with a 1995 act of Congress and fulfilled a promise made by each of the last four U.S. presidential candidates. Internationally, it did not play well.

    The Palestinians condemned the decision, saying it destroyed “any possibility of a two-state [solution).” They proceeded to rally opposition in the UN. The United States vetoed a critical Security Council resolution, but the General Assembly subsequently voted 128 to nine (with thirty-five abstentions and twenty-one countries not present) to condemn the decision.

    Last month, prior to the General Assembly vote, Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the United States would be “taking names” of countries voting in favor of the resolution.

    At the UN we’re constantly asked to do more and give more—in the past we have. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American people, about where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thursday there will be a vote at the UN criticizing our choice. And yes, the U.S. will be taking names.

    The vote exposed two problems that frequently coincide: (1) U.S. aid recipients often take—without repercussions—positions contrary to those taken by the United States in the UN and (2) Palestinians frequently use the organization to harass and isolate the United States and Israel.

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