U.S. allies are furious that Donald Trump unilaterally blew up Israeli peace talks, and they held an emergency meeting to condemn it.
This week, Donald Trump recklessly wiped out decades of U.S. foreign policy and international consensus by unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The decision is effectively a rejection of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and has led to angry clashes in the region between protestors and Israeli police.
The fallout could be even greater, however, because Trump has not only destabilized Israel, he has alienated U.S. allies who were committed to a resolution that would acknowledge Palestinian rights.
On Friday, in a massive humiliation for America, the United Nations held an emergency meeting to deal with Trump’s actions in Israel, and the U.S. found pretty much the whole world against it.
Olof Skoog, Swedish ambassador to the U.N., called the meeting, saying that recognizing Jerusalem "goes against the plea of many friends of the US and Israel, however it does not affect the position of Sweden, the European Union or the wider international community."
Koro Bessho, the Japanese ambassador, said that "Japan is deeply worried by the heightening tension on the ground.”
British ambassador Matthew Rycroft reminded the U.S. that leaving Jerusalem’s sovereignty unrecognized until a two-state solution gives joint control to Israel and Palestine is “the only way to ensure the long-term security that Israelis deserve and the statehood and end to the occupation that Palestinians are calling out for.”
French ambassador Francois Dellatre demanded the U.S. explain a basis in international law for the decision, saying, “It is critical to duly seek to provide to pretexts for radical movements in the region and on the contrary, to encourage all statesmen and actors for peace.”
Middle Eastern nations were incensed. Sima Bahous, the ambassador to Jordan — which administers Jerusalem’s holy sites — called the decision “null and void” under international law and warned it would provoke religious conflict. And Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, the Egyptian ambassador, called it “a violation of international legitimacy” that would have “no impact” on Jerusalem’s legal status.
Trump’s ambassador, Nikki Haley, did not sufficiently provide justification for the decision or address any of these concerns, instead blasting the U.N. as the “world’s foremost centers of hostility toward Israel” and that the U.S. was working to “advance the cause of peace.” Haley did not actually explain how recognizing unilateral sovereignty for one country in bilateral talks would do anything for peace.
The reactions of countries around the world make absolutely clear what a grave mistake Trump made. He must recognize he has not only made talks harder in Israel, but he has made talks harder for the United States with any country. Less than a year into office, Trump's reckless leadership is turning America into an international pariah.