While the Obama administration has abandoned Israel, several US senators are rallying in support of the Jewish state in the wake of the UN’s anti-Israel resolution.
Several US senators are calling for a reassessment of US aid to the United Nations and are considering legislation against countries that promoted an anti-Israel resolution endorsed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday.
The anti-Israel resolution stated that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, “occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,” have “no legal validity.” It demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”
Instead of casting a veto to support Israel, as is traditional US policy, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power abstained, allowing the Council to approve the resolution in a 14-0 vote.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threatened to campaign for a bipartisan consensus in Congress that would punish those who pushed for the resolution with a cut in US aid— as well as the UN itself, which relies on generous congressional appropriations. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) Tom Cotton (R-AK) and James Lankford (R-OK) signaled support for Graham’s initiative.
American funding accounts for 22 percent of the UN’s budget. Israel has already announced it is cutting at least NIS 30 million in funding to several UN bodies.
“The Obama-Kerry foreign policy has gone from naïve and foolish to flat-out reckless. With friends like these, Israel doesn’t need any enemies,” Graham said in a statement. “I anticipate this vote will create a backlash in Congress against the United Nations. The organization is increasingly viewed as anti-Semitic and seems to have lost all sense of proportionality. I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East.”
“It’s that important to me,” Graham told CNN. “This is a road we haven’t gone down before. If you can’t show the American people that international organizations can be more responsible, there is going to be a break. And I am going to lead that break.”
Action to Reverse the Resolution
Likewise, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Saturday night called on the US to withhold funding to the UN until it reverses the resolution.
In a tweet, Cruz said he had spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night to wish him a happy Chanukah and assure him of the strong support in Congress for Israel.
“No US $ for UN until [resolution] reversed,” Cruz tweeted.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that Obama administration’s decision to abstain in the UN Security Council vote was “absolutely shameful.”
“Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration and rebuild our alliance with Israel,” Ryan said in a statement.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said Obama’s abstention “has made us complicit in this outrageous attack” and added that the abstention “emboldens” Israel’s enemies.