President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at the United Nations on Monday days after the Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Taking to Twitter, he said the U.N. has “such great potential,” but has become “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”
Trump also gave a stark warning to the U.N. after Friday’s vote, saying “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” referring to the day he takes office.
The president-elect has taken a more pro-Israel stance since telling the Associated Press in an interview last December that he wanted to be “very neutral” on Israel-Palestinian issues. However, since getting into the thick of his presidential campaign, he has moved toward favoring Israel. He has said the Palestinians have been “taken over” by or are condoning militant groups.
The Obama administration abstained from Friday’s vote, brushing aside Trump’s demands that the U.S. exercise its veto power and providing a climax to years of icy relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ambassador Ron Dermer doubled down on Israel’s claim the U.S. orchestrated the resolution vote before abstaining last week in an interview with Fox News’ “Special Report.” Still, he gave few specifics. “We have that evidence… we’re going to present it to the new administration, and if they choose to share it with the American people, that’ll be their choice.”
The ambassador responded to calls from some prominent Republicans to stop all U.S. funds bound for the U.N. “I think a new president and Congress that wants to make sure that every penny of your money is going to something that protects and defends and advances U.S. interests — I think there’s a lot of changes that could happen at the United Nations,” Dermer said.
This year the U.N. Security Council has approved over 70 legally binding resolutions, including new sanctions on North Korea and measures tackling conflicts and authorizing the U.N.’s far-flung peacekeeping operations around the world. The General Assembly has also approved dozens of resolutions on issues, like the role of diamonds in fueling conflicts; condemned human rights abuses in Iran and North Korea; and authorized an investigation of alleged war crimes in Syria.
Trump’s criticism of the U.N. is by no means unique. While the organization does engage in large-scale humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts, its massive bureaucracy has long been a source of controversy. The organization has been accused by some Western governments of being inefficient and frivolous, while developing nations have said it is overly influenced by wealthier nations.