In Ramallah, no Champagne bottles were opened after the Dec. 21 United Nations vote against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Still, there was a sigh of relief, as the threat by the president to cut aid to countries voting against him did not work. At most, half a dozen countries did not show up because of the American threat. The Palestinian leadership was pleased with the supporting votes of France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
A senior PLO official close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Al-Monitor that Abbas considers the UN vote as a victory for Palestinian diplomacy. For Abbas, the vote reflected prevailing global consensus that the Palestinian capital will be East Jerusalem, and that the borders of the Palestinian state will be based on the 1967 lines. Only seven countries besides the United States and Israel voted opposed, and most of those countries are island nations in the Pacific Ocean. The United States and Israel were isolated as never before in their positions against the two-state solution.