I read with interest the position taken by the vast majority of countries, including Guyana, at the United Nations General Assembly by voting in support of a UN resolution not to recognize Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel and to consider any such unilateral action as null and void.
This is a slap in the face of the United States and its President Donald Trump, who only recently declared its intention to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite objections from several countries in the Arab world and also some key allies both in the Middle East, Western Europe and Asia.
It is significant that the majority of countries have stood up in favour of principle, despite open threats by the United States that countries which opted to vote in favour of the resolution run the risk of being penalized in one way or the other. To the best of my recollection, this is the first time in years that a direct threat has been issued by the United States at the diplomatic level to ensure compliance with US policies at the United Nations.
It would seem that the Trump administration is not averse to utilizing what is referred to as the ‘big stick’ method to get things its way. This does not augur well for international diplomacy and inter-state relations, especially as it relates to smaller states which are much more vulnerable both economically and politically to resist the dictates of the bigger powers. The world has advanced from the Cold War mentality of the 1960s and 1970s when the world was demarcated into spheres of influence, and countries were expected to comply depending on where they stood along the ideological divide.
It is commendable that the majority of countries in Caricom and the hemisphere as a whole have opted to take a firm and principled stance on the issue of Palestine, and more particularly Jerusalem, which remains the bone of contention between Israel and the Arab world.