UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned the UN that US funding was at risk if its backs a measure to condemn President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was sought out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley told member nations ahead of their vote.
“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the UN and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit,” she added.
Her comments came two days day after she served notice the US “will be taking names” on the nonbinding resolution criticizing Trump’s decision.
The draft resolution was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the US at the Security Council on Monday, although all other 14 council members voted in favor.
“The United States is by far the single largest contributor to the UN. We’ll be honest with you — when we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognize and respected,” Haley said Thursday.
“When a nation is singled out for attack in this organization, that nation is disrespected,” she continued. “What’s more, that nation is asked to pay for the privilege of being disrespected. In the case of the US, we are asked to pay more than anyone else for that dubious privilege.”
Haley also emphasized that the UN will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in any case.
“No vote in the UN will make any difference on that,” she said sternly.
Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital unleashed protests across Israel and the Muslim world, and prompted appeals to the UN.
The status of the Holy City is one of the thorniest issues dogging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — with both sides claiming it as their capital.
On Wednesday, Trump warned that Washington would closely watch how nations voted, suggesting reprisals for countries that back the motion, which was introduced by Yemen and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” Trump said at the White House. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
Ahead of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the UN as a “house of lies,” saying Israel “rejects outright this vote, even before it passes.”
“The attitude to Israel of many nations in the world, in all the continents, is changing outside of the UN walls, and will eventually filter into the UN as well — the house of lies,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also assailed Trump for threatening to cut off American funding to countries that oppose his decision.
Speaking at a cultural awards ceremony in Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan said he hoped the US will be “taught a lesson” during the UN vote on the issue.
Erdogan accused Trump before the vote of seeking countries whose “decisions can be bought with dollars.”
“Mr, Trump, you cannot buy Turkey’s democratic will with your dollars. Our decision is clear,” he said. “I call on the whole world: Don’t you dare sell your democratic struggle and your will for petty dollars.” (Courtesy New York Post)