South Carolina’s former governor didn’t waste any time in showing appreciation for the nine countries that voted Wednesday in support of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and the countries that didn’t vote at all.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, invited 65 United Nations member nations to a reception to “thank you for your friendship to the United States.”
The private reception is expected to take place the night of Jan. 3.
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On Wednesday, the U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 in opposition to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite Trump’s threats that the U.S. would pull foreign aid sent to countries that voted against the United States’ wishes. Haley even suggested on Twitter, “The US will be taking names.”
Of the 193 U.N. member nations, 35 abstained from the vote and another 21 were absent, according to media reports.
“For all these nations, they take our money and then vote against us,” Trump told reporters this week. “We’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
Earlier this month, Trump bypassed decades of diplomatic precedent and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump said the U.S. also will begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Critics have said the move will ignite more violence in the Middle East and rip apart the future of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
But supporters, particularly those in Haley’s native Palmetto State, were pleased.
“The effect of today’s vote by the United Nations General Assembly against @realDonaldTrump recognition of #Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol is a farce,” state Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, said on Twitter. “It has no legal impact and will only unveil the faces of national #antiSemitism sitting astride the #UN stage.”
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, said Trump’s initial recognition of Jerusalem was a statement that “reflects the reality on the ground for the last 3,000 years.
Of the United Nations vote, Graham said he didn’t mind the UN “expressing displeasure with American foreign policy decisions through a non-binding vote of the General Assembly.” But, he added, he minded sending American tax dollars to a UN that has been “inefficient, weak in the face of evil and anti-Semitic.”
“We will deal with these issues in 2018,” he tweeted.