“This bill simply puts into law what should be common sense: Americans’ tax dollars should not fund anti-Semitic activities or nefarious efforts to undermine the legitimacy of Israel,” said Sen. Cotton.
US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Wednesday introduced the Countering Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Activities Act, legislation combating systematic bias and targeting of the Jewish State at the United Nations (UN).
The bill calls for the withholding of US funding for the UN and affiliated agencies until the president certifies that no UN agency or affiliated agency grants any official status, accreditation, or recognition to any organization which promotes or condones anti-Semitism, or includes any such organization as a subsidiary or member.
The action is being taken in response to the Obama administration’s abstention in the passing of Resolution 2334 at the UNSC last month, which condemns Israeli “settlements” – i.e., Israeli communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – as an obstacle to a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“As I said when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 with the United States abstaining, if the UN wants to continue to attack Israel and promote anti-Semitism, I will work to see that it does so without US taxpayer funding,” said Rubio. “It’s time for the United Nations to be held accountable for targeting and singling out Israel while countries that actually threaten international peace and security—like Russia and China—go unchallenged.”
“This bill simply puts into law what should be common sense: Americans’ tax dollars should not fund anti-Semitic activities or nefarious efforts to undermine the legitimacy of Israel,” said Cotton. “For too long, the world’s worst actors have used the United Nations as a forum to point an accusatory finger at Israel and deflect from their own failings. That will stop only when America leads, stands on principle, and uses its considerable leverage to force true reform at the United Nations.”
The UN’s Obsession with Israel
Additionally, the bill withholds funding from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) until the secretary of state certifies that the UNHRC does not include a permanent item related to the State of Israel or the Palestinian territories.
In the recently concluded General Assembly session, the UN adopted 20 resolutions against Israel and only six targeting the rest of the world’s other nations combined.
Over the past 10 years, the UNHRC has passed 62 resolutions condemning Israel. Meanwhile, the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations.
The bill also withholds funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) until the secretary of state certifies that no official, employee, consultant, contractor, subcontractor, representative, or affiliate of the UNRWA is a member of Hamas or any US-designated terrorist group.
American funding accounts for 22 percent of the UN budget.
Israel has already announced it is cutting at least NIS 30 million in funding to several UN bodies.
In related legislation, House lawmakers earlier this month voted 342-80 in favor of a resolution that declares unwavering support for Israel and insists that the US reject any future actions at the UN that are “one-sided and anti-Israel.”
“Our government abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. “It is time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN.”