The U.S. President said that “we have taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table but “with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
Trump’s tweets are a sign the Middle East peace process has stalled. The threat of pulling the more than $300 million off the table may be an attempt to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
In a move that angered both allies and foes alike, Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital in December. The move broke with decades of U.S. policy and an international consensus that the city’s status should be decided in peace negotiations.
Palestine also said it would be willing to negotiate with Israel but wanted the U.S. excluded from any talks as it would be impartial.
This is not the first time Trump has used U.S. purse-strings to threaten foreign countries.
WATCH: Reporter asks Nikki Haley if U.S. on ‘right side of history’ over Jerusalem vote
After Trump’s decision, the UN Security Council voted 14-1 in favour of a resolution (delete: to) that would have required Trump to rescind his declaration. The U.S., unsurprisingly, was the lone “no” vote which vetoed the resolution.
A day later, a similar vote was put to the general assembly, and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Trump both threatened repercussions.
Haley warned countries that the U.S. would be “taking names” if anyone criticized the U.S
Trump took things a step further, saying that Americans tired of being taken advantage of.
“For all these nations, they take our money and then vote against us. They take hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” Trump told reporters. “We’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us.”
“We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he said, alluding to U.S. aid.
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