Days after the United Nations voted to condemn President Trump’s designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the US announced steep cuts to UN funding.
The UN — which is headquartered in New York City — will see a cut of $285 million in funding from the US government next year, according to The Guardian. The US Mission to the United Nations provides the international organization with approximately 22 percent of its annual operating budget, according to the UN charter.
The cut in funding amounts to roughly a quarter of the US contribution to the UN budget. The Guardian suggested the budget cuts were a way of the US attempting “to bend decision-making at the international body to its will.”
“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of,” said Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, in a public statement, adding that the US would “look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting [American] interests.”
Last week, the UN voted almost unanimously against Trump’s relocation of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with 128 votes in support of the nonbinding resolution condemning the decision with just 9 opposed. 35 countries abstained from the vote, and another 21 chose to not vote at all. Haley responded to the vote by inviting representatives of those 65 countries to a “friendship party.”
The 8 countries who voted no with the #US on the #UNGA #Jerusalem resolution, the 35 who abstained and the 21 who did not cast a vote have been invited to a reception by @nikkihaley as a “thank you for your friendship to the United States” pic.twitter.com/x0qRs4AZlZ
— Michelle Nichols (@michellenichols) December 21, 2017
The designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has triggered a wave of protests against the decision, with roughly 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the protests broke out earlier this month, according to Al Jazeera.
Jerusalem is considered a holy place in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, with monuments like the Dome of the Rock having significance for all three faiths. The rock itself, for example, is known as the place where the Muslim prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven, along with the place where Jewish forefather Abraham was told to sacrifice his son, Isaac, at the request of God. The Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is close by the Dome of the Rock, is considered the third holiest site in all of Islam (after Mecca and Medina).
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.