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An Embarrassing Veto at the U.N.

The U.S. vetoed [1] a resolution calling for a reversal of the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

The United States blocked a Security Council resolution Monday at the United Nations that would have rejected President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s vote marked the Trump administration’s first Security Council veto. All 14 other members supported the resolution, underscoring the U.S. isolation on the issue.

Haley said she cast the veto “in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process.”

The Security Council vote is notable for its implicit rebuke of a permanent member’s action. It is a measure of how overwhelming the international consensus against the U.S. position is, and it is a sign of how inept the administration’s diplomacy continues to be. The U.S. exercised its veto to avoid the spectacle of a critical resolution being passed with the support of all the other members. It was obviously not because of any concern for an American role in whatever remained of the “peace process” that the recognition of Jerusalem just torpedoed. If Trump or Haley were concerned with preserving that role, the decision to recognize would never have happened. Using the veto in this way is an embarrassment, since it is being used in support of a bad decision that will likely continue to cause the U.S. headaches for years to come.

17 Comments (Open | Close)

17 Comments To "An Embarrassing Veto at the U.N."

#1 Comment By Whine Merchant On December 18, 2017 @ 11:28 pm

As Trump keeps braying: “Israel First!”

– at least that what it looks like he believes.

#2 Comment By Cunharez On December 18, 2017 @ 11:33 pm

Astute and well informed piece

#3 Comment By a spencer On December 19, 2017 @ 4:22 am

She looks good doing it, though, right?

It was a 14-1 vote, correct?

Isolation and non-intervention are not the same thing.

#4 Comment By a bad smell On December 19, 2017 @ 7:28 am

All Trump and Haley have done with their stupid Jerusalem policy is give other countries a reason to propose resolutions condemning Israel. Proposals that would pass with huge margins in the UN General Assembly.

It won’t make Israel look too good to have to regularly beg the US to use its Security Council veto to protect Israel from evidence of renewed global loathing.

#5 Comment By JWJ On December 19, 2017 @ 9:49 am

So are you saying that the leadership of the UN, which is mostly made up of dictatorial countries, should be able to force the US to NOT put its embassy in a foreign countries capital city (as determined by the foreign country)?

If the dictatorial countries in the UN started to pathologically hate on England the way they do Israel, would you agree that the leadership of the UN should be able to force the US to move its embassy out of London?

ps. it will be interesting to see if you allow a comment that doesn’t just agree with you.

#6 Comment By Cody McDaniel On December 19, 2017 @ 10:30 am

No I think he is saying that even countries like France, England Sweden, Japan, Italy, and Ukraine all voted to condemn the US on this issue. These do not appear to be dictatorial countries to me and most of them have friendly relations with Israel. The difference between them and the US is that they out global interests and their own self interest ahead of Israel’s interests.

#7 Comment By Do The Pledge On December 19, 2017 @ 10:55 am

“So are you saying that the leadership of the UN, which is mostly made up of dictatorial countries, should be able to force the US to NOT put its embassy in a foreign countries capital city (as determined by the foreign country)?”

Forget the leadership of the UN. It’s more like the global consensus. Israel can declare that its capital is on Mars for all I care. But it can’t make us or anyone else put embassies there unless we agree. And as long as the ownership of Jerusalem is disputed between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the US should never put its embassy there, if for no other reason than that America is, after all, a Christian country. And most sensible people – i.e. non-fanatics – agree that Jerusalem should be declared an international city and retired from the chessboard.

#8 Comment By b. On December 19, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

I wonder about the role of Saudi Arabia here. If MbS was supposed to block any Palestinian attempt to take this to the General Assembly, he appears to have failed already.

It is possible that this is a unique case, inasmuch UN Resolution 377 had already been invoked in 2009, and that session is now merely being resumed. The threshold to invoke anew, without support of any of the permanent or temporary members of the Security Council, proved too high in 2002/2003, when Bush administration pressure succeeded in discouraging enough nations.

But it should be noted that UN377 would enable the nations of the world to override any veto in the Security Council, especially of any of the permanent or temporary members there would be willing to invoke it themselves. At a guess, Russia and China in particular do not wish to set this precedent, as it would also subject them to General Assembly debate, votes, and decisions that would not be in their favor. This, however, might change.

It is, of course, possible that Trump would welcome a General Assembly session and a majority vote to disavow his unilateral action on behalf of Israel. He appears to consider the presidency another kind of primary.

The General Assembly failed to invoke UN377 to stop the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, and other aggressive acts since. It remains to be seen whether the UN is of any use at all in the run-up to war against North Korea or Iran.

#9 Comment By jk On December 19, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

I never understood the Neocon contradiction from the hatred of the UN yet the need for the US to have a seat at the Table to be an influencer.

It really gets me when the Neocon clowns try to ‘credibly’ argue for destruction of another country with their credibility instantly wiped out once someone reminds these people about Colin Powell et al.

#10 Comment By a spencer On December 19, 2017 @ 1:02 pm


So edgy. Look out everybody, don’t cut yourselves!

Do you know how many times I’ve been spiked responding to people like you? 🙂

In the meantime, name the dictatorial countries at the UN.

#11 Comment By JWJ On December 19, 2017 @ 3:58 pm

To spence, thanks, I always wanted to be edgy. Appreciate you thinking so highly of me and my comment.

Of the current security council, I would say that the mostly dictatorial countries are Bolivia (morales is trying to become “president” for life a la Venezuela); China; Russia; Egypt; Ethiopia; Kazakhstan.
France and UK are afraid of their new dominant minority population. Japan voting against the US is a bit of a disappointment.

Out of the whole UN, Human Rights Voices (are they reputable??) estimates that of the 193 represented countries, about 107 are not free.

To Mr. L, thank you for allowing a dissenting voice.

#12 Comment By bt On December 19, 2017 @ 6:21 pm

I love the hypocrisy of UN critics on the Palestine issue.

The UN was good enough to create the State of Israel, but other than that it’s just a den of thieves and murderers that must be ignored at all times thereafter.

#13 Comment By Ken T On December 19, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

Haley said she cast the veto “in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process.”

Thanks to this administration, America no longer has a role in any Middle East peace process. The entire world can now see that we are nothing but Israel’s lap dog.

#14 Comment By Taras 77 On December 19, 2017 @ 6:50 pm

I think the us is long past embarassment with slavish Israel first pandering.

#15 Comment By SteveK9 On December 19, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

It’s been Israel first for many decades. The stupid veil has been dropped. It’s a terrible policy, but it certainly didn’t start with Trump.

#16 Comment By MEexpert On December 20, 2017 @ 11:52 am

I have finally realized why Nikki Haley was sent to the UN. Any US ambassador will do Israel’s bidding at the UN. Nikki is no exception. Nikki Haley’s UN comments sound like “school marm” writing down names of students cheating in an exam.

Nikki Haley was appointed ambassador by Trump to show his contempt for the UN that he spoke about during the campaign. Who else is better than Nikki to personify that contempt?

#17 Comment By SteveJ On December 20, 2017 @ 1:39 pm

I just don’t think it’s worth it to go on
with this two-state bit.

In fact, I think it gives Israel a pass.

Anyone who was living in what now constitutes Israeli borders should vote in Israeli elections — that means Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

Where is the U.N. resolution on that?