Nikki Haley in Threatening Letter to UN Members: Trump 'Will Be Watching' Who Votes Against U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem

U.S. envoy's letter, obtained by Haaretz, sent one day before resolution rejecting U.S. move expected to pass by sweeping majority at the General Assembly

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and U.S. President Donald Trump at UN Headquarters in New York, September 18, 2017.
Reuters

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley sent a letter to representatives of UN member-states, warning them against supporting a resolution rejecting President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The resolution, which expected to pass by sweeping majority, is slated for vote on Thursday.

"The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us," she wrote in a letter obtained by Haaretz. "Thank you for your consideration, and please do not hesitate to contact my team with any questions or concerns."

Haley continued, "As you know, the General Assembly is considering a resolution about President Trump's recent decision on Jerusalem. As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the U.S. take this vote personally.

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"Twenty-two years ago, the U.S. congress declared that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel, and that the U.S. embassy should be moved to Jerusalem. President Trump affirmed that declaration by officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, the President's announcement does not effect final status negotiations in any way, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. The president also made sure to support the status quo of Jerusalem's holy sites, and did not advocate changes to arrangements at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif."

Haley added: "The U.S. announcement is an acknowledgment that peace is best advanced, not set back, when all parties are honest Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since the country's founding nearly seventy years ago The President clearly voiced support for a two-state solution if that's what the sides agree on."

"I know that many in the General Assembly are also committed to the cause of peace," Haley wrote, asking the member-states to consider whether such a resolution will not only fuel "the heated rhetoric and violence."

Haley stressed that the United States "was not asking for other countries [to] move their embassies to Jerusalem," but "simply asking you acknowledge the historical friendship, partnership, and support we have extended and respect our decision about our embassy."

Haley also tweeted on Tuesday that the U.S. will stand by the Jerusalem decision and will be "taking names" of those who criticize impending embassy move.

"At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more," Haley tweeted on Tuesday.  "So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names."

The UN General Assembly is set to meet on Thursday at 5 P.M. Israel time (10 A.M. EST) for an emergency discussion on the unilateral American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Turkey and Yemen requested the meeting after an Egyptian draft resolution against the recognition was presented to the Security Council and was vetoed by the United States, although the 14 other members of the council voted for it.

An an attempt to avoid embarrassment, Israel has instructed its diplomatic missions to seek meetings with high-level officials to persuade them to direct their representatives at the UN to oppose, not to support, or at the very least not to deliver a speech at the General Assembly. Among the reasons ambassadors were told to cite are that Jerusalem was the de facto capital of Israel long before the United States recognized it as such; a resolution of this kind at the United Nations will damage American efforts toward a peace agreement in the region; the resolution will spur terror and violence in the area; and unilateral steps in the United Nations do more harm than good. The envoys will also pledge to maintain freedom of religion and the status quo in the city.