India Jerusalem

Members of the Palestinian delegation clap after a vote on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared 'null and void' Dec. 21, 2017 in New York City. The vote, 128-9, at the United Nations concerned Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate its embassy there. The Trump administration has threatened to take action against any country that votes against the United States decision to move its embassy. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

UNITED NATIONS — In a rebuff to the U.S., the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 21 passed by two-thirds majority a resolution criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and move Washington's embassy there.

India joined the overwhelming Assembly majority to vote for the resolution that demands that the U.S. comply with the Security Council decisions against changing the status of Jerusalem.

Defying Trump's threats to cut off aid to countries that voted for the resolution, 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine countries joined the U.S. and Israel in voting against it.

An unusually large number – 35 countries – abstained, showing that Trump's threats had some effect.

The resolution was sponsored by Yemen on behalf of the Arab Group in the U.N., and by Turkey on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

It followed the U.S. veto Dec. 18 of a similar resolution in the Security Council introduced by Egypt.

While the Assembly resolutions do not have the legal clout of the Council resolutions, they carry political clout.

Both sides – the U.S. against the Assembly resolution and Islamic and Arab countries for it – mounted a strong campaign.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

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