The United Nations, on Thursday, December 21, cast what must only be interpreted as a symbolic vote condemning the United States for making the long overdue decision of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announcing its intention to move the American embassy there, from Tel Aviv.
While symbolic to be sure, as it will not alter the decision made by the United States, it is the definition of that symbolism that speaks volumes. The UN, increasingly anti-American and always, historically, anti-Israel, demonstrated why, as an organization, it is less and less relevant.
News flash: Jerusalem, in fact, is actually the capital of Israel - of that there can be no disputing. Yet the vote, an overwhelming rebuke of the United States’ declaration, was rife with ignorance and hatred - again no surprise. The final tally looked like a pasting The Ohio State University football team would hand to a local Columbus high school: 128-9.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Only eight countries stood with the United States in support of an announcement declaring what is already a historical fact, while 128 nations condemned the United States, and by conjunction, Israel, again, for publicly stating what is factual data. It is akin for condemning the science teacher for declaring the world is round, or the math teacher for a pronouncement that one plus one equals two - a real flair for the obvious.
Standing with the United States: Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Togo. Thank you for having the courage to do the right thing.
Enter US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who delivered a dynamite speech before the UN as she continues performing an excellent job in her appointed capacity. Haley said the United States exercised its right as a sovereign nation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and for planning to move its embassy to that city.
“That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that. But this vote will make a difference on how America looks at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN. And this vote will be remembered,” said Haley.
“Let them vote against us,” said President Donald Trump, adding, “we’ll save a lot [of money].” This is yet another example of Trump’s boldness to keep his word, his promise, and follow through on what previous American presidents - Democrat and Republican alike failed to do.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the vote on Thursday “preposterous…. Jerusalem has always been Israel’s capital, and Jerusalem will always be Israel’s capital.”
This condemnation is hardly new nor surprising where Israel is concerned. According to Jake Tapper, Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN, between 2012 and 2015, the United Nations General Assembly voted 97 times to condemn a specific nation - 83 of those condemnations targeted Israel. Israel, the one democracy in the Middle East, the sole Jewish state on the planet, has been the subject of 86 percent of the UN’s condemnations.
Sure, that makes sense, after all, Israel is guilty of human rights violations such as denying women the right to walk in public alone, beheadings, the slaughter of children, the rape of women, murdering Christians and homosexuals… oh, wait, that’s NOT Israel. That’s a cadre of Arab/Muslim states who are on the receiving end of nary a UN chastisement. Arabs and Muslims live more freely in Israel than in Arab/Muslim nations. Christians are not attacked for being Christian in Israel and Israel hosts one of the world’s largest gay pride parades on an annual basis.
How does this vote benefit those 128 countries? If anything it demonstrates their animus toward both the United States and Israel. It demonstrates they are in the pockets of the 57 Arab/Muslim countries and that those 128 nations fear the Arab/Muslim countries while disrespecting the United States. That is, until those nations come crying to the United States for funding or to use its influence for their benefit.
Regarding that funding, for 2017, the Regular Budget of the United Nations is $2.6 billion, of which the United States contributes 22 percent. Of the Peacekeeping Budget of $7.8 billion, the United States contributes 28.4 percent. That does not count the use of the hall, the local police and security in and around the UN headquarters in New York City.
It is high time the United States start talking with its dollars. First, pull and/or decrease the funding the United States provides any of the 128 nations that voted against the US. For many years I have called for countries voting against the United States in the UN 50 percent of the time or more should receive absolutely nothing - not one red cent. Clearly, those countries do not have the back of the United States. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), during his failed 2016 presidential campaign, put forth the notion of each country starting at zero dollars and then making the case for why they should receive any funding on an annual basis. Unless a nation provides some security benefit for the United States, such as a military base, or unless there is a humanitarian need, the funding should be curtailed. Those funds should revert back to the US for use on domestic programs such as national security or desperately needed infrastructure repair.
Second, kick the United Nations out of the United States. Most of these nations don’t like the United States, thus, they can set up shop in Brussels, Geneva, Paris, or even Moscow. Let one of their countries pay the mother lode of expenditures. Revoke the diplomatic immunity retroactively in order to require any UN miscreants and denizens to pay their parking tickets, be tried and serve time for the crimes of rape, murder, and human/sex trafficking.
Lastly, the United Nations building should be converted into housing - apartments or condominiums for homeless and/or disabled veterans. At least those expenses can be justified to the American people. The residents can live there rent/mortgage free under the proviso that they maintain the units and overall property to acceptable New York City standards. The building, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, opened in 1952, and is located on First Avenue between 42nd Street and 48th Street.
Interestingly, Ambassador Haley announced a reception will be held for the 65 nations that did not vote to condemn the United States. This includes the aforementioned nine nations who voted no, the 35 countries that abstained, as well as the 21 who did not attend the vote at all. For the results of the vote, nation by nation, please visit: https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/943895292138741760/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fthetwo-way%2F2017%2F12%2F21%2F572565091%2Fu-n-votes-overwhelmingly-to-condemn-trumps-jerusalem-decision
May G-d continue to Bless the United States of America and Israel.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.