It is not often that the international community stands up to the United States. But this time, 128 nations voted in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to denounce US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The CNN called the General Assembly’s resolution a “shellacking” for the US.
We cannot but agree. Intimidation by Trump and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, was plenty. Trump threatened to stop financial aid to countries that voted against his decision, while Haley warned that she would be taking down the names of those countries. It was a day of victory for the cause of Palestine, but a day of shame for the US and Israel.
Muslims and Christians will remember this day fondly because the international community stood with them despite intimidation and threats from a superpower. Many Muslim nations have stood firmly with the Palestinians, among them being Turkey and Malaysia. Malaysia has ceaselessly pushed for action against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, through the UN, Organisation of Islamic Countries and international forums. Turkey has done the same. The US must know that recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a step against international law as determined by the many United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions of the past.
The world has a right to question the partiality of the US as it claims to be a sponsor of peace. US as a founding member of the UN and a permanent member of the UNSC must remember the very purpose the world body was created, which is to ensure “international peace and security”.
Peace will only come if the international community of nations, big and small, are just to one another. Taking what belongs to the Palestinians is definitely not a path to peace. The US cannot continue to be beholden to Israel, a nation that is taking Palestine away, piece by piece, from the Palestinians.
Duress does not say much for freedom of choice. The votes cast at UNSC and General Assembly suggest that it is time for the US to play a more constructive role in the Middle East. Haley said: The US will remember this day. And, with shame, we hope.