The Atlantic

Nikki Haley's New Best Friends at the UN

Seven countries voted with the U.S. and Israel over the status of Jerusalem, getting an invite to a “friendship” party from the UN ambassador. So who gets to go?
Source: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

After the UN General Assembly Thursday voted to reject America’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, invited everyone who sided with the U.S., by voting “no” or by abstaining, to a reception to thank them for their “friendship to the United States.” So who gets to come to the party as official friends of America?

The invite list includes seven countries, mainly on Pacific islands and in Central America, plus one in Africa, that joined the U.S. and Israel in voting “no.” That’s not necessarily the set of guests one would expect at an American influence party, since America’s main treaty allies in Europe and Asia to the U.S. One hundred and twenty-eight countries voted “yes” and will not be invited.) But the friends list may not be so much a reflection of American influence as Haley’s invitation would suggest. In most of the cases, Israeli diplomacy has been softening the ground for this decision for years, even as President Donald Trump’s America First policy alienates world leaders. The vote, in other words, may say more about Israel’s global standing than America’s.

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