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UN Overwhelmingly Rejects Trump's Jerusalem Decision

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The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted on Dec. 21 to reject President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The final vote tally on the resolution, co-sponsored by Turkey and Yemen, was 128-9, according to CNN. There were 35 abstentions.

The resolution condemned any decisions which change the character, demographic makeup or status of Jerusalem, adding that they "have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council," according to CNN.

Seven other nations joined the U.S. and Israel in voting against the resolution: Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

Twenty-one countries stayed away from the vote.

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"The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly," stated U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. "We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution" to the UN and when other member states ask Washington "to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."

Haley maintained that the outcome of the vote, which is non-binding under international law, would have no impact on the Trump administration's policy of recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

"That is what the American people want us to do and it is the right thing to do," added Haley. "This vote will make a difference in how Americans look at the UN."

Haley's comments came one day after Trump threatened financial penalties for nations who vote against the U.S.

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"We're watching those votes," the president said on Dec. 20. "Let them vote against us, we'll save a lot. We don't care."

The threats by the U.S. prompted criticism from other countries.

"Mr. Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic free will with your dollars, our decision is clear," stated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to the General Assembly.

During the General Assembly debate, Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour attacked the Trump administration.

"What does this decision serve?" he questioned. "It serves the Israeli government in implementing its colonial plans. It serves the powers of extremism ... Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated, and why even its closest allies couldn't turn a blind eye to this decision?"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branded the UN as the "house of lies" before the Dec. 21 General Assembly meeting, according to a Reuters report.

Later that day, he blasted the UN vote as "preposterous," saying in a video message that Jerusalem "always was, always will be" Israel's capital, according to CBS News.

Sources: CNN, Reuters, CBS News / Featured Image: Hudson Institute/Flickr / Embedded Images: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Flickr, Kremlin

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