On Wednesday, 128 members of the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution that rejected US President Donald Trump’s acknowledgement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Of the member states, a whopping nine, including Guatemala and Honduras, voted against the resolution, and 35 others chose to abstain.
However, while the “reaffirmation of this international consensus… actually set Israel back in many ways,” according to Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” he also says that this is only the beginning of a long road.
Speaking to Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear, Abunimah indicated that in order for a real resolution to be settled on the matter, more action needs to take place.
“Will it be followed by more than just words? Will this be a trigger to sanctions on some level?” Abunimah asked show hosts Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek. “It certainly sends a signal to the rest of the world, and to civil society, that Israel’s position is illegitimate.”
To the author, the UN decision was “really remarkable.”
“Israel had seen that it had kept making advances… without much international opposition and they may have thought that once Trump made the announcement that that would open the flood gates and many others, if not everyone, would follow suit,” Abunimah said. “[But] what actually happened was really a remarkable demonstration of unified opposition and the vote in the general assembly last week was really quite stunning.”
But the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine shouldn’t just been seen as a Trump administration issue, says Abunimah, who noted that even during the Obama administration, seen by some as more cool to Israel, the 69-year-old country was given the green light to do as it pleased.
“Israel greatly increased its settlements and actions under [former US President Barack] Obama… with [his] blessing and assistance,” Abunimah said. “Obama rearmed Israel while it was dropping bombs and killing 11 kids a day in Gaza in the summer of 2014… and Obama left office just after signing the biggest military aid deal in history.”
According to Abunimah, Israel, which “already had the hubris and confidence” from Trump and Obama to take steps it deemed necessary, believed that “its takeover of Jerusalem, its claim to Jerusalem was sort of complete because this somehow was a dormant issue.”
Now, things have been revealed to be more complicated.
Trump announced December 6 that he would be recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move deemed by critics as a costly mistake that could ultimately ignite a war between Palestinians and Israelis.