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UN, OIC, EU and PLO invite Trump retaliation

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Humiliating President Trump by declaring his decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as being "null and void and must be rescinded" - spells financial and political trouble for the United Nations (UN), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the European Union (EU) and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

The timing of Trump's decision can certainly be criticised – but questioning Trump's sovereign right to make that decision constitutes a flagrant attempt to undermine the offices of the democratically-elected US President and Congress.

Trump's decision was made in accordance with international law and American domestic law – making a mockery of those who have claimed otherwise.


The first two casualties of this unprecedented political and legal attack on America's governing institutions could be:

1. the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees ("UNRWA") and

2. the two-state solution proposed by the 1993 Oslo Accords and President Bush's 2003 Roadmap - as endorsed by the UN, the EU and Russia ("two-state solution")

US Ambassador to the UN – Nikki Haley – put UNWRA clearly in President Trump's sights for retaliatory action when she declared:

The United States has done more than any other country to assist the Palestinian people. By far. Since 1994, we have given over $5 billion to the Palestinians in bilateral economic assistance, security assistance, and humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees operates schools and medical facilities throughout the region. It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. Last year, the United States voluntarily funded almost 30 percent of UNRWA's budget. That's more than the next two largest donors combined. And it's vastly more than some of the members of this Council that have considerable financial resources of their own.

I'll be blunt: When the American people see a group of countries whose total contributions to the Palestinian people is less than one percent of UNRWA's budget – when they see these countries accuse the United States of being insufficiently committed to peace – the American people lose their patience.

UNRWA is facing the grim prospect of having to find up to US$400 million annually from other UN member States if Trump cuts America's current voluntary contribution to UNWRA.


President Trump has already announced America will withdraw from UNESCO in 2018 – attributed in part to "anti-Israel bias" - which will require another US$143 million - 22% of UNESCO's annual budget - to be found from other member states.

Biting the hand that feeds you does have consequences.

The catastrophic decisions made by the UN, OIC, EU and PLO over the past two weeks following Trump's Jerusalem Declaration could seriously impact any "ultimate deal" Trump has been putting together to end the Jewish-Arab conflict.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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