As United Nations members prepare for an emergency session to discuss the status of Jerusalem, President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to cut aid to countries that vote against his decision to disregard international law and recognize the ancient city as the capitol of Israel.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” said Trump. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
His remarks were met with condemnation by Amnesty International.
“President Trump is doubling down on his reckless policies by coercing other countries into accepting his decision to recognize the unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel,” said Raed Jarrar, the group’s advocacy director for the Middle East. “The Trump administration’s bullying tactics will only serve to further isolate the United States on the global stage. Rather than threatening those who depend on U.S. aid, the Trump Administration should abide by its legal obligations not to recognize an illegal situation and reverse its course on Jerusalem.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) denounced the president’s statement on social media.
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Asian and African countries that rely on aid are among those voting on Thursday, as well as the U.K., which is preparing to negotiate a trade deal with the U.S. following its decision to withdraw from the European Union.
His statement followed a threat issued by U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday, when she told the 192 other representatives that she will be “taking names” of those who reject the United States’ recent announcement.
Judging from the international response to Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—further normalizing the occupation—Haley’s list of names will likely consist of nearly all 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly, minus the U.S.
A 14-1 vote on Monday left Haley isolated while every other member of the U.N. Security Council voted that President Donald Trump should withdraw his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol.
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