UNGA Vote Shows How Jerusalem Decision Has Isolated US, Undermined Credibility

December 21, 2017

The result of today’s hugely lopsided vote by the United Nations General Assembly is the latest sign that the overwhelming majority of the international community rejects the Trump administration’s senseless decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital prior to a peace agreement.

Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and it should be internationally recognized as such in the context of an agreed two-state solution that also establishes a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. This vote was not about dictating to the US where it can put its embassy, but about reaffirming that no country should unilaterally alter the city’s status in advance of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

The administration’s move has only made that agreement harder to achieve, sowing mistrust and alienating those committed to the serious pursuit of peace. President Trump’s provocative and incoherent foreign policy has dangerously undermined US credibility and further destabilized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is remarkable that only eight other countries voted with the US on this resolution. Rarely if ever before has a US government been so alone on the world stage. We are deeply concerned that the growing, self-inflicted isolation of Israel’s closest ally could prove very damaging to the long-term interests of both countries.  

The Trump administration must stop threatening to take extreme retaliatory measures against the United Nations or against the many countries that object to the US decision on Jerusalem. Instead, it should wake up to the reality that making sensitive foreign policy decisions simply to please a right-wing political base can and will result in serious diplomatic isolation and loss of international credibility.

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