Why did India vote against US on Jerusalem?

What is India getting by its decision to oppose the US decision to move its consulate to Jerusalem?

What is India getting by its decision to oppose the US decision to move its consulate to Jerusalem?
What is India getting by its decision to oppose the US decision to move its consulate to Jerusalem?

The normally balanced Foreign Policy of the Narendra Modi government took an inexplicable decision to vote against the United States (US) resolution to move its consulate to Jerusalem[1]. At the United Nations (UN), India voted along with 128 other countries in favor of a resolution at the UN General Assembly which opposed and rejected the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This has not gone down well with the United States President, Donald Trump.

In a letter obtained by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Nikki Haley, the US representative to the UN, wrote that Trump was watching this vote carefully and has requested the names of all those countries that voted against the United States[2].

What should India have done?

Let us examine the vote a bit further. Of the 184 that voted to oppose Trump’s decision, 128 supported it, 9 opposed it and 35 abstained[3]. With the second largest Muslim population in the world, should India have abstained? Would that not have given a more balanced perspective to the world? The nine countries who stood by the US are Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, The Marshall Islands, and Togo. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., invited these nations and the 56 that abstained or didn’t show up to the vote to a “friendship” party to be held on January 3. The other countries, roughly two-thirds of the world, however, were threatened with a complete cut-off of U.S. aid prior to the vote and, after the outcome on Thursday, the U.S. announced it would slash $285 million of financial support to the U.N. in 2018[4].

Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to India

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit India in January 2018. One of the critics of his own government’s decision on this resolution, Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy tweeted that Netanyahu’s visit to India will begin on the 14th on January. For the longest time, Dr. Swamy has been a proponent of close relations with Israel.

What has India got from this vote?

Hard to see, except maybe some brownie points from some members of the UN Security Council, in its quest to get a permanent seat. To add insult to injury, Palestine’s envoy to Pakistan shared the stage with terrorist Hafeez Sayeed in a Rawalpindi public rally, condemning India.

Palestine Ambassador to Pakistan with terrorist Hafeez Sayeed
Fig 1. Palestine Ambassador to Pakistan with terrorist Hafeez Sayeed

I am sure the nation wants to know the “benefit” India got out of voting alongside Pakistan and a whole lot of other countries against the US. India’s External Affairs Ministry has been tightlipped about this decision, presumably because it is going to use this as a bargaining chip with some Islamic countries for some quid-pro-quo in the future. The more things change, the more they appear to be the same.


[1] Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – India votes against USDec 22, 2017, The Indian Express

[2] Trump wants to know the names of everyone who voted against the US decisionDec 20, 2017, Newsweek

[3] UN vote a mild rebuke for Israel but a stinging slap for TrumpDec 24, 2017, Haaretz

[4] Israel says 10 more countries to move their consulates to JerusalemDec 26, 2017, Newsweek

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  1. Though Muslims ruled us for 800 years, they couldn’t convert India to a Muslim nation even with their swords….thank god for Bravo’s like Shivaji…
    But 200 years of rule by British n their missionaries have done much harm… North East converted, coastal areas of Kerala and tamilnadu conversions in the process…..
    Prabhakaran , a christian demanded a separate state in Sri Lanka in the name of Tamils…. Which was brilliantly handled by Sri Lanka… You can see the likes of vaikoo(a christian convert) when he demanded that tamilnadu be separated from India….
    You can even think about thirumurugan Gandhi(Daniel Gandhi) etc….
    Also how can USA try to decide the capital of another country…
    If we abstain, it means we are neutral and that’s bad…
    Even if it’s USA when a country tries to boss other country and tries to establish their supremacy, it has to be condemned, whether they are allies or enemies…
    India has stood unique in this….and stood its ground….in opposing bosses…

  2. I am also puzzled by this decision of the Modi administration. They could simply have abstained. I wonder what the rationale is – if it is simply some extra bargaining chips with Islamic nations then it is not a well thought out move – rather stupid in fact.

  3. To Santosh Shrimali – It looks like that the wording you have gathered in your context seems to be of muslim or pro muslim representative. It is the general view of the muslims and the islamic countries to demonise trump exactly in the aforementioned words. India has to be very clear in this it need not to be really responsible with respect to and concerning Islamic terrorism or islamic expansion. They do more harm than good to India. As you may have noticed in the above article and a meeting by a palestinians representative with the terrorist hafiz sayed.

    They are all muslims and they will quash you in trifle when it is about Islam. beware..

  4. What nonsense article is this? I was expecting some insights about why India made such decision this article is rubbish. Change the headline.

    • Agreed. Nothing in the headlines is carried in its contents. Sometimes one has to wonder on the quality and reliability of this site.

      • You have to read in-between the lines to find out. Palestine has recalled its envoy from Pakistan. Did our post do it? Maybe not but it did highlight it. Not many in the MSM did. If India had abstained here and not turned down US request for support in Afghanistan, India would be dictating terms to Pak. Alas but boldness is not a trait one finds in India’s babus.

  5. Every decision by sourvein nation cannot be view in the prism of gain & loss. The country like India with deep heritage has responsibility to play at times when merchant (Trump) of the world is measuring Palestinian lives on weighing scale of donations. It is pity that this poor man Trump is not blasted by other mightys of the world. Trump must be discarded for his low level values. He not even human. Disgrace to him and to other countries which abstained or those which supported the UNGA motion. And Bravo to Modi led India, which took appropriate decision to oppose motion, even they are Muslims. Attending stage with Hafiz by Palaistine FM is to seek support, so no narrow mind view. It can be corrected later.

    • So much hatred!! How can we expect anything reasonable to come from this man’s comment.

      India has, after a very long time, the ability to break Pakistan and get rid of this menace once and for good. New allies are needed- with Israel and US being the key ones. If India can assure China and Russia that all alliances with US are to deal with Pakistan, and that the Chinese economic interests will not be compromised, we can bring Pakistan to its knees. Pakistan is a paper tiger that can be easily tamed, if it has no options. Think like the great strategist- Chanakya! and not like an ideology.


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