In a strong show of condemnation for President Trump, 128 countries, including some of the US’s most trusted allies, voted in favor of a UN resolution calling for a reversal of Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Only nine countries voted against it, which speaks volumes about America’s declining influence at the UN considering that Trump and US Ambassador Nikki Haley had threatened to cut aid to countries who criticized the US and funding to the UN itself, writes Zeeshan Aleem in Vox. Also telling of America's growing isolation within the UN is that in lieu of support, 35 allies only abstained from voting. That the vote was overwhelmingly against the US, even after such an aggressive campaign from the Trump administration, shows America’s dwindling leadership.
The outcome of the merely symbolic UN vote rebuking America and President Trump for daring to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is irrelevant and signifies nothing about America’s standing in the UN. This is because the president, along with U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, both know that the organization needs America, its richest member state, more than America needs the UN, argues Eli Lake in Bloomberg. It not only hosts the UN but contributes 23% of the body’s annual budget. As such, Trump, and by extension, Haley, continue to wield sway over major decisions regarding Iran, North Korea and other hot spots. Unlike Trump’s predecessors, who used the UN to validate America’s foreign policy, Trump and Haley don’t feel the need to do so.