PM calls UN 'House of Lies,' preemptively rejects vote on Jerusalem

Key countries to watch in vote: eastern and central EU countries, non-Muslim African states, India and Mexico. Netanyahu thanks Trump and Haley for 'courageous and uncompromising' stand for Israel.

December 21, 2017 13:34
2 minute read.

Netanyahu calls the UN a 'house of lies,' rejects UN vote against US recognition of Jerusalem, December 21, 2017. (video: GPO)

Netanyahu calls the UN a 'house of lies,' rejects UN vote against US recognition of Jerusalem, December 21, 2017. (video: GPO)

Calling the United Nations a “House of Lies,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preempted by some five hours a vote scheduled to take place there Thursday on the status of Jerusalem and said that “Israel completely rejects the vote even before it takes place.”

“Jerusalem is our capital, we will continue to build it, and the embassies of countries – first that of the United States – will move to Jerusalem,” he declared. “This will happen.”

Netanyahu's words came at a dedication ceremony for the new Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod. The UN is expected to easily pass a resolution in the General Assembly pushing back against US President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there. A similar resolution in the Security Council was vetoed on Monday by the US.

The vote will have no binding impact, but is being watched carefully because of Trump's threat to take retaliatory measures by cutting aid against countries who vote against it.

“I want to thank President Trump and Ambassador [Nikki] Haley for their courageous and uncompromising stand with Israel and the truth,” Netanyahu said. “In the end the truth will win out.”
PM Netanyahu thanks President Trump and Ambassador Haley for vetoing UNSC resolution calling on Trump to withdraw Jerusalem recognition. (GPO)

Netanyahu said that Jerusalem is Israel's capital “whether the UN recognizes it as such or not. It took 70 years until the US formally recognized this, and it will take a number of more years until the UN does so as well,” he said. Netanyahu said that Israel's bilateral ties with countries on all continents is changing outside of the UN's walls, “and in the end this will trickle down inside the walls of the UN building – the House of Lies.”

It will be interesting to watch how a number of countries now vote at the UN, especially the EU countries. While all four EU countries on the Security Council voted against Israel and the US on Monday — France, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Italy — it is likely that some of the 28-member organization will break with the block and either vote against the measure or abstain.

For instance, the central and eastern European countries — nations such as Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic — enjoy a great deal of US political and military aid, and may be hesitant to incur Trump’s wrath. Furthermore, these countries generally are more supportive of Israel and its policies inside the EU then the western and southern European countries.

Greece and Cyprus, countries with whom Israel has formed an alliance over the last number of years, will also be interesting to watch. Similarly, it will be interesting to see how the many of the African countries vote -- especially the non-Muslim African countries with whom Netanyahu as forged strong ties in recent years such as Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Togo and Ethiopia. Despite strong bilateral ties, Ethiopia voted for the resolution Monday at the Security Council.

Other countries to watch are India, where Netanyahu is headed in mid-January to further push forward a bilateral relationship that has flourished over the last three years, and Mexico, where Israel sent a great deal of humanitarian aid after the devastating earthquake there in September.

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