The General Assembly vote on December 21 condemning President Donald Trump’s implementation of American law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ought to be the last time America takes it lying down.
Let’s be clear about how we got here. Thursday’s meeting was the seventeenth time the UN General Assembly has convened the so-called “tenth” emergency special session on Israel since 1997. That’s because the “tenth” session is effectively permanent. At the end of the meeting, the President of the General Assembly stressed that the session was merely “adjourned.”
What such UN-eze means for real people is this: There has never been an emergency special session of the General Assembly on anything but Israel-bashing in twenty years. 500,000-plus dead and seven million displaced in Syria over seven years – and not one emergency special session. Neither a million dead in Rwanda, nor two million dead over two decades in Sudan, ever prompted a single emergency special session.
The issue Thursday was not about Jerusalem. It was about Jew-hatred. The resolution is the General Assembly’s twenty-first resolution in 2017 slamming Israel for violating “rights” and “law.” There was one resolution on North Korea. One on Iran. And one on the United States – criticizing U.S. Cuba policy. Altogether, there were nine resolutions critical of human rights records in specific states in the rest of the world combined.
The game is Jerusalem and 1967 borders. But the endgame is the 1948 borders and the legitimacy of a Jewish state.
The issue today was also not simply about President Trump. The State Department produces an annual report computing “coincidence of voting” in the General Assembly – or how often other countries vote the same way as the United States. In 2016, counting all the final draft resolutions of the full plenary of the General Assembly – that were adopted by a vote and on which the U.S. voted yes or no – “coincidence of voting” with the United States was a mere 37 percent.
U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley cut to the chase: dollars and cents. On today’s “attack,” she pointed out to the General Assembly that the United States is “asked to pay more than anyone else” for “the ‘privilege’ of being disrespected.”
But she and the President went further. They’ve promised that this time the United States will not be cowering in submission while the UN majority chants “UN multilateralism” because back home these states are too busy unilaterally oppressing their own people.
Speaking in advance of the vote at a Cabinet meeting, President Trump said: “We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.” And Haley spelled it out: “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”
Today’s vote – 128 for, 9 against, 35 abstentions, and 21 sitting on their hands — means a few more “no-shows” got the administration’s memo that freedom isn’t free.
But the numbers tell the UN story: whatever the organization was meant to be in the 20th century, in the 21st century American taxpayers are paying for an institution owned and operated by anti-American non-democracies. There is no time like the present to put an end to this travesty.
It so happens that today and tomorrow the United States will be asked to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. The General Assembly budget committee is meeting today to take a decision on funding the UN Human Rights Council – a “human rights” body composed of the likes of Qatar, China, Cuba, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
Funding will include paying for a UN blacklist of American companies doing business with Israel, along with a whole host of “trash America first” programs. The Trump administration should vote against funding the Human Rights Council at the committee level.
When the resolution passes anyway – and circles back around, bundled together with all the other anti-American and anti-Israel goings-on from across the General Assembly – the Trump administration should vote against the entire UN 2018-2019 biennium budget.
This move has clear precedent. On December 22, 2007, the Bush administration voted against the whole 2008–2009 UN budget after the General Assembly decided to pay for yet another antisemitic hatefest modeled on the infamous Durban racism conference of 2001.
Here’s a roadmap after the vote: Place a temporary hold on U.S. funding for the United Nations except in the case of urgent humanitarian relief. Set up a committee to review all U.S. UN contributions – now approximately 10 billion a year from all government sources – and decide what truly fits American values and interests. Move commitments from the “regular” budget category to “voluntary” contributions, where we can keep a much closer eye on accountability.
And last, but not least, move the embassy to Jerusalem tomorrow by changing a sign on a building in Jerusalem that the United States already owns. The time for following through on promises, Mr. President, was never more ripe.
|After killing thousands of her own people the Communist Dictatorship Venezuela bashed US at UNGA.|
Countries with appalling human rights records relished their moments in the spotlight Thursday, lambasting the U.S. for daring to move its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Here are some of the countries who were allowed to take a swing at the U.S. during the debate on the U.N. General Assembly motion condemning the U.S. move, or who chose to vote against the U.S.
Venezuela, whose government this month banned opposition parties from its 2018 elections, was particularly vocal in its condemnation of the U.S. decision. Despite the country’s dilapidated socialist economy forcing Venezuelans to scavenge food from garbage bags, Venezuela’s representative launched into a tirade against the U.S., declaring itself “alarmed” by Israel’s alleged violations of international law in Palestinian territories.
“Our message to the current admin of U.S. of A is the following: The world is not for sale. The world is not for sale and your threats imperil global piece,” Samuel Moncada said.
Another country known for starving its people to death, North Korea is also one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world while also causing international outrage and instability by aggressively ramping up missile tests as it seeks out a nuclear weapon. But despite itself being both a human rights pariah and under ever-tightening sanctions, North Korea also voted Thursday to censure the U.S.
Delegate Ja Song Nam said the U.S. move was deserving of “global condemnation.” He added that the U.S. and Israel bear “full responsibility” for the consequences of the decision for its “reckless and high-handed” actions.
He also called on Israel and the U.S. to listen to the international community, something North Korea has itself failed to do in regards to its weapons programs despite multiple rounds of international sanctions.
Syria is in a years-long civil war, during which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own civilians. It is also a country where ISIS took hold and secured their de facto capital in Raqqa. Yet despite its appalling human rights state and its wartorn conditions, Syria was another country to line up and take a shot at the U.S.
Syrian Deputy Ambassador Mounzer Mounzer said the move “unmasks their unlimited support for the racist, colonialist, Zionist entity which undermines the rights of the Palestinian people.”
Yemen is currently involved in a bloody civil war as Saudi and Iran-backed militias face-off for control of the country. It has been plagued by airstrikes, famine, and a severe outbreak of cholera. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed this month by Houthi rebels. Yet, the country’s government found time to sponsor the resolution condemning the U.S.
The communist dictatorship of Cuba commits such flagrant abuses of human rights that its people are often found risking their lives on homemade rafts trying to cross the waters to the United States of America in search of freedom. The Castro regime, via Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, condemned the alleged “serious and flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, of international law and of the relevant UN resolutions” by the U.S. and Israel.
The Turkish government, which has been engaging in an unprecedented crackdown on journalists speaking out against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took umbrage at Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump’s warning that the U.S. would cut funding to those countries who opposed the U.S. In what would appear to be an astonishing lack of self-awareness, Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, blasted “bullying” from the U.S.
“We were all asked to vote ‘no’ or face the consequences. Some were even threatened with [a] development aid cut. Such an attitude is unacceptable,” he said. “This is bullying and this chamber will not vote to do that.”
Iran has been working to destabilize the Middle East in its push for nuclear weapons, support for Islamic terrorists, and its use of Yemen as a proxy war against Saudi Arabia. But Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo tore into the U.S. and Israel. He accused Israel of “criminal” practices, and accused the U.S. of having “acted against the will of the international community.”
Yet despite the protests of the above countries, as well as others such as China and the Palestinian leadership, the U.S. was defiant.
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem, that is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do,” Haley said. “No vote at the United Nations will make any difference on that, but this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N. and this vote will be remembered.”
(Blogger's notes: Burma was one of those 21 no-shows. Actually Burma wanted to vote "NO" but China wouldn't let it, so Burmese UN ambassador just skip the assembly and played rounds of golf whole day in Long Island. And he got an invite next day for the thank-you party from Nikki Haley the US Ambassador to UN for just doing that, what a lucky bugger.)