The UN General Assembly voted by a margin of 128-9-35 to condemn Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and eventually to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem. The vote is non-binding, but is being cheered in many quarters.

American liberals are loving it, because it is viewed as a loss for Trump. And any loss for Trump, even if it’s an anti-US loss, is okay with the media Resistance.

Joy Reid cheered Trump’s loss with a “Bye Felicia” snark on MSNBC:

(video also here)

Morning Joe was unanimous that Trump’s loss was well-deserved:

Needless to say, the Palestinian leadership, which funnels an enormous percentage of its budget to paying rewards to terrorists and their families, declared it a big victory:

“The vote is a victory for Palestine,” said Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah. “We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

Anti-Israel extremist group “Jewish Voice for Peace” portrayed it as a loss for Trump’s alleged evangelical Christian base:

The number of countries that voted with Palestine today affirms that a U.S. foreign policy designed to bolster Trump’s donors and evangelical Christian base will only serve to further isolate both the U.S. and Israel and inspire a global movement to realize Palestinian rights.

A more sober view is that while it was a loss for the U.S. and Trump, it wasn’t as big a loss as Israel usually received in the General Assembly. Raphael Ahrens at The Times of Israel writes, Why Israel’s massive defeat at the UN isn’t quite as bad as it looks:

In Israeli diplomacy, everything is relative.

Was the outcome of Thursday’s vote at the United Nations General Assembly on the status of Jerusalem a stinging loss or a surprising success for Israel? Depends on how you look at it. But it certainly wasn’t as bad as many expected.

Palestinian officials, naturally, emphasized the fact that there were a whopping 128 yays and only 9 nays….

Israeli officials, however, chose to look at the other side of the coin, focusing on those that countries that did not support the resolution….

The fact that a total of 65 nations did not actively vote against US President Donald Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his announced intention to move the US embassy to the holy city was “hugely significant,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon cheered.

This list shared by Nikki Haley of the 65 countries that either voted against, abstained or didn’t vote is remarkable for the 15 sub-Saharan countries that defied third-world and Arab pressure by not joining the anti-Israel and anti-US mob. That is a testament to the success Israeli diplomacy and humanitarian aid projects (including agricultural assistance) are having in Africa:

But a loss is a loss, and the reality is that in the General Assembly, there is an automatic anti-Israel super-majority regardless of the issue. As Abba Eban once quipped:

“If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”

In advance of the vote, Nikki Haley insisted that the US was “taking names,” and Trump even suggested that foreign aid might be affected by the vote. Haley repeated that in her statement at the UN in advance of the vote:

So will Trump follow through?

There are specific UN players who need to pay a price, chief among them the Palestinian Authority which pushed this anti-American resolution. Trump should close the PLO office in DC, should suspend new visas for PA officials with some limited exceptions, and should use his bully pulpit to get the Senate to vote on the Taylor Force Act. That Act has been passed by the House and was voted out of committee in the Senate, but has not yet received a floor vote. Once signed into law, which Trump has said he would do, the Taylor Force Act would cut funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it halted its payments to terrorists and their families.

Trump also needs to make the UN pay a price, which is more than a monetary issue. It is an opportunity to shrink the size of the anti-American, anti-Israel UN bureaucracy, and to undo Obamas legacy of subjugating the American political process to the will of the UN, on a host of issues from climate to the Iran nuclear deal.

The U.S. contributes $10 billion per year to the UN, of which $4 billion are assessed dues, and $6 billion are voluntary contributions. This places the US as the largest funder of the UN by far, more than double what China contributes. Trump should announce that he has instructed the state department and other necessary agencies to propose a specific plan that cuts the US contribution in half. That would still leave us as the largest funder, but would present the UN with serious consequences.

The US could still maintain some voluntary funding that serves our interests, and would continue to participate in the Security Council. But the days when American taxpayers funded people who actively work against us would come to an end.

These steps against the UN are long overdue. The anti-American UN General Assembly vote presents Trump with the opportunity to leverage a loss into a win.


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