That UN Vote: “How are the mighty fallen”

by James M. Wall

For those keeping score on the Trump Administration versus the United Nations, the final vote on the Status of Jerusalem resolution is recorded above.

The official count was 128 to 9 against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and his pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Thirty-five nations abstained, and 21 countries did not cast a vote. The eight countries voting with the United States were Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

On Thursday, the day of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was busy dedicating a hospital in the coastal city of Ashdod. He responded to the UN vote pretty much the way former Judge Roy Moore responded to his recent defeat in Alabama’s election for a U.S. Senate seat. He rejected it.

Prior to the vote which rejected the U.S. President’s “gift” of Jerusalem to Israel, the U.S. Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley (below), warned nations that votes against the U.S. would be remembered. She added, “We will take names,” sounding more like a Mafia Don than a diplomat..

The New York Times reported that Riad Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister, had a more civil response:

“History records names, it remembers names — the names of those who stand by what is right and the names of those who speak falsehood. Today we are seekers of rights and peace.”

He added that the Palestinians “will not be threatened,” and that the United States had insisted on “ignoring the dangerous repercussions of its decision.”

Ha’aretz reported on Netanyahu’s reaction to the vote:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution,” responding minutes after the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

In a major diplomatic blow to Israel and Trump, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with 128 member states voting in favor of the resolution and a mere nine voting against it.

“Jerusalem is our capital, always was and always will be. But I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theater of the absurd,” Netanyahu charged in a live Facebook video.

The Times also notes that the UN vote “deepened Mr. Trump’s isolation over the issue”. It also “threatened to alienate Arab allies of the United States and may have further complicated prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

As for the impact of the vote on the U.S., the Times concludes: “The overwhelming rejection of the American shift of position on Jerusalem, on the world’s biggest diplomatic stage, was a setback for a president who is still looking for a major foreign achievement after nearly a year on the job.

If you are wondering where to find Ashdod and its newly dedicated hospital on an Israeli map, Ashdod is located 13.6 miles north of Ashkelon along Route 4.

Readers familiar with 2 Samuel 1:19-20, will recall Ashkelon as one of two cities cited by David on the day he learned of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan:

The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

“How are the mighty fallen!” is a statement that ranges far beyond Gath and Ashkelon. And it is repeated throughout the centuries as empires stumble and fall.

The UN General Assembly resolution states the world’s overwhelming opinion on the future of Jerusalem, a city sacred to three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. 

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of the U.S.-based Jewish Voice for Peace, summed up the significance of the UN resolution:

Despite threats from the Trump administration, the UN General Assembly vote today showed once again that the U.S. and Israel are increasingly isolated from the global consensus regarding Israel’s appalling disregard for Palestinian rights.

She concluded: “We commend those countries that stood up to U.S. pressure, which could not obscure the urgency of speaking out against the recklessness and injustice of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.”  

Winning is one of Donald Trump’s favorite words. By a vote of 128 to 9, this week he was not a winner. He was a loser at home and on the world stage. So, sad to say, was the nation that elected him President. 

The recorded vote tabulation at top is a screen shot. To enlarge it, click on the photo once. The picture of Ambassador Haley is a UN photo.

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years.
This entry was posted in Middle East, Middle East Politics, Netanyahu, Obama, Palestinians, Religion and politics, Uncategorized, United Nations. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to That UN Vote: “How are the mighty fallen”

  1. Patricia says:

    Indeed Trump & Nikki must resign. They are an appalling representation of AMERICA. A shame! An embarrassment! JVP has my respect as do the countries that voted against Trump & Nikki’s stupidity!

  2. AWAD PAUL SIFRI says:

    “How are the Mighty Fallen”?
    When they allow an alien state and its Lobbies penetrate into the system, under the guise of fabricated “common interests”.
    In the case of the US and Israel, the “common interests” are, in fact, those between Israel and US Zionist Neocons who want to “Make Israel First”, at the cost of American blood and treasure.
    To Zionist propagandists, I would like to say, it is the ancient Jebusite Arabs who built Jerusalem, long before the Hebrews ever entered the land, coming from slavery in Egypt and lost in Sinai.
    Just prior to the creation of Israel (1948) and Israel’s occupation of “West” Jerusalem, Palestinians had owned 65% of “West” Jerusalem and 100% of “East” Jerusalem. Israel forcefully occupied Jerusalem in the 1967 War. Israel immediately expanded it by threefold, by artificially incorporating two dozen Palestinian villages carved out from the West Bank, then unilaterally annexed the entire city of Jerusalem.
    The USA, UN, Europe, and the entire world rejected Israel’s illegal annexation and occupation of Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza. Trump and Pence, the in-House voice of Zionist Christian Fundamentalists, squandered decades long of US policy, by recognizing Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.
    The entire slate needs to be wiped clean. Palestinians should be allowed to choose their own leadership, in a UN-supervised democratic elections process, and never allow their leaders to be appointed by Israel. A new Palestinian leadership should never play policeman, by suppressing Palestinian resistance, on behalf of Israel. Britain and the US, who twisted arms at the UN in 1947, to create Israel in the Palestinian Homeland, are morally and legally responsible for funding a Marshal Plan for an independent Palestinian State.
    Palestinians should consider new strategies and new objectives, in order to attain freedom and independence for a 2-state solution that includes all pre-June, 1967, boundaries – no swiping of territories – and East Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Palestinian.
    Since Israel has rejected – building facts on the ground – the other alternative is a ONE secular democratic state for, both, Palestinians and Jews in all of Historic Palestine.
    Palestinian Right of Return (UN Resolution 194) should be applied, and equally correspond in numbers, to any new Jewish immigration to the new state.
    If Israel rejects both peaceful solutions, then Israel is in fact choosing a future of continued wars and destruction. And it can only blame itself and its supporters.

  3. Netanyahu’s reaction to UNGA’s Jerusalem resolution is amusing to say the least, when one considers the most “preposterous” resolution by the same body was the one taken in violation of its own charter in 1947 on the partition of Palestine.

  4. Jim, thanks for this report. There is a fourth category of voting…or not. I count 23 UNGA members that apparently didn’t bother to show up. One of them, interestingly to me, is Ukraine. I find it more than a bit disturbing that 128 countries voted “Aye” vs. 65 (>50 percent) “Other.” I wonder if Haley (smell the sulfur…) will make a point of that.

  5. Samia Khoury says:

    Thank you Jim, and I have nothing more to say, but add my voice to Awad’s comment. Best wishes for justice and peace for the whole world.

  6. Jack Graham says:

    It is fine to condemn Trump for his error in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is a grave error, and should be seen as such

    But this error is a drop in the bucket compared to the error of the Democratic Party in frustrating an alliance between the United States and Russia.for the sake of world peace

    The difference between Jim and me is that Jim conveniently overlooks the fact that the Democratic Party has become the war party in the United States, whereas I see it for the tragedy it is.

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