New York, Dec 28: The US President-elect Donald Trump described the United Nations as a body of nations with potential, but reduced currently to a status of a ‘club’ for people to have a good fun time.
Trump’s caustic comments on the global body came days after he blasted it for the anti-Israel vote. Trump questioned the effectiveness of the UN.
Coming just days after Trump’s tweet on Friday lamenting “Israel’s loss” at the UN Security Council where a resolution calling for a halt to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was passed 14-0 with a US abstention, the president-elect took to Twitter again to claim the world body “has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”
On Friday, after the vote against Israeli settlements was passed, Trump warned, “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th,” referring to the day he takes office.
In a striking departure from past policy of incumbent presidents waiting on the sidelines, Trump tried to scuttle the resolution, answering Israel’s call on Thursday to pressure Egypt — which drafted it — to withdraw the proposal and calling for a US veto.
When on Friday, Malaysia, Senegal, Venezuela and New Zealand pushed for a vote, the Obama administration opted to abstain, saying the decision was a result of the Israeli government’s policies and recent pro-settlement remarks.
Israel, for its part, reacted furiously, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials accusing the Obama administration of abandoning and “ambushing” its main Mideast ally and of colluding with the United Nations against Israel.
According to the Times of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on a diplomatic blitz on the Christmas Day, summoning the ambassadors of 10 (China, Russia, France, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Ukraine and Uruguay) of the 14 states who supported the resolution for a dressing down by directors of the Foreign Ministry’s respective regional departments.
In the case of Great Britain and Spain, the deputy ambassadors were summoned because their respective bosses were currently not in the country. Israel has no diplomatic ties with Venezuela and Malaysia.
In addition, in an extremely rare move, Netanyahu also summoned US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and personally met with him for “clarifications” on the US decision to abstain.
He also recalled the Israeli ambassadors to Senegal and New Zealand, two of the four countries that sponsored the resolution that has diplomatic relations with Israel. Israeli aid to Senegal has also been halted.
He further cancelled this week’s visit to Israel of Ukraine’s prime minister, opted not to schedule a meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, and reportedly told ministers to minimise their working relations with countries that backed the resolution.
Vowing not to be forced by international pressure into withdrawing from disputed territory, Netanyahu said on Saturday that Trump’s incoming administration had indicated that it would join an all-out war against what he called a “shameful” and “scandalous” decision.