World leaders rebuking the United States at the United Nations shouldn’t expect the American people any longer to “pay for the privilege of being disrespected,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Thursday.
“In the case of the United States, we are asked to pay more than any other nation for that dubious distinction,” Haley told the U.N. General Assembly. “We have an obligation to demand more for our investment. And if our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our investment in more productive ways.”
Haley’s protest came amid a debate over a resolution condemning President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The measure was taken up during an emergency session of the assembly, which U.S. officials have long accused of harboring an unjust hostility toward Israel.
Shortly after noon, the assembly voted 128-9 in favor of the resolution condemning the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Another 35 countries abstained from the vote.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” she said. “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
Much of the debate fell out in standard fashion, as the United States long has disagreed with even close allies on policy regarding Israel. But it also provided an occasion to display fissures opening between the United States and Turkey, a key NATO ally that has drifted from western powers under the authoritarian leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“This decision is an outrageous assault on all universal values,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem and start the process of moving the U.S. embassy to that city.
Haley reiterated that Trump’s decision does not stifle the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that establish a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
“The decision does not prejudge any final status issues, including Jerusalem's boundaries,” she said. “The decision does not preclude a two-state solution if the parties agree to it. The decision does nothing to harm peace efforts. Rather, the president’s decision reflects the will of the American people and our right as a nation to choose the location of our embassy.”