Diana Buttu, Ramallah-based political analyst, former advisor to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian negotiators:
“Today’s UNGA vote is an important show of respect for international law and against Trump’s illegal pronouncement on Jerusalem. What is astonishing is that the US threats to ‘take names’ is being done in Israel’s interest and not for any US interest. In short, the US is behaving like a bully, supporting a bully, in an attempt to make legal what is clearly illegal.”
Yousef Munayyer, Political analyst at the Arab Center of Washington, DC and executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights:
“Despite thuggish threats by the United States, the UNGA voted to approve a resolution slamming Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. This moment is a sad reflection of how America's willingness to embrace Israel's alienating and illegal policies has only resulted in self-isolation and declining American influence and credibility in the international community.
“This resolution, the second in a week's time at the United Nations, is a referendum of the international community not just on Israeli policies but on the US's role as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians. Never before has international confidence in American ability to act credibly been so low. Unsurprisingly, the American and Israeli Ambassadors lashed out with the bravado and defiance typical of rogue states while the international community overwhelmingly rejected them.
“While this performance art may play well with certain American and Israeli domestic constituencies, it does little to advance the objectives of peace and security and only further exposes the United States as being part of the problem instead of part of the solution in Palestine/Israel.”
Zaha Hassan, Human rights attorney and Middle East Fellow at New America. During Palestine’s bid for UN membership and Quartet-sponsored talks between 2010 and 2012, Ms. Hassan was the coordinator and legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team:
“Believing herself St. Nick rather than the US’s Ambassador to the UN assigned to protect international peace and security, Nikki Haley, promised to ‘make a list’ of those states that were naughty and voted to uphold international law on the status of Jerusalem. Despite her threats and those of President Donald Trump, the world stood on the side of international legality and the right of Palestinians to be free. This is because the international community understands the inherent danger in standing idly by while the US discards decades of UN resolutions on Jerusalem. It would have sent the message that ‘might makes right’ which is precisely the idea states came together after World War II to stand against in forming the UN.
“Since the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the internet has been awash in video footage from human rights organizations and others showing Israeli occupation forces using disproportionate and excessive force against non-violent protestors, some of whom whose only ‘crime’ was raising a Palestinian flag, like paraplegic Ibrahim Abu Thuraya who was shot dead in Gaza. Rather than uphold US laws that would suspend US security assistance to Israel when used for non-defensive purposes or for human rights violations, the US has promised to withhold US aid to those countries that would stand on the side of protecting the rights owed to the occupied people.
“Contrary to what Ambassador Haley claimed before the member states of the UN today, the American people do not support President Trump’s decision. In fact, polls consistently show a large majority of Americans want the US to be neutral in Israel and Palestine and oppose moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. So not only does the Trump administration stand against international law in standing with Israel, but it stands against the will of the American people.”
Phyllis Bennis, Writer, analyst, and director of the New Internationalism project at the Institute for Policy Studies:
“The Trump administration's response to the UN vote against the recent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital reflects the centrality of Israeli interests in Trump's Middle East policy. The recognition was driven by Trump's eagerness to placate Trump's right-wing Christian Zionist base and to please his key donor, the Israel-can-do-no-wrong casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
"The decision was taken despite its potential to undermine the regional anti-Iran alliance being orchestrated by Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. That dangerous effort hoped to include Israel as a never-before public ally of Saudi Arabia, something that would have required reassuring Arab leaders and the Saudi population that Palestinians were somehow being taken care of, that Israel was no longer a problem. Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital makes that false claim far more difficult for the Saudi leadership to assert.
“Trump's response to the General Assembly resolution condemning the recognition of Jerusalem is consistent with two basic tenets of U.S. policy at the UN: protect Israel at all times, and use a schoolyard bully approach against opponents.”