President-elect Donald Trump responded to the UN Security Council’s passage of an anti-Israel resolution Friday — thanks to U.S. abstention by President Barack Obama — by Tweeting: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
It was not immediately apparent what Trump meant, but senior members of Congress — including several in the Senate — have called openly for defunding the United Nations in response to the vote, which declares Israeli settlements illegal.
The vote, which Israel argues mistakes both historical fact and international law, breaks with five decades of precedent in U.S. policy. The Obama administration had vetoed an earlier resolution substantially similar to the one that it allowed to pass.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) issued a statement in advance of the vote:
As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I oversee the United States assistance to the United Nations. The United States is currently responsible for approximately 22 percent of the United Nations total budget.
If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) agreed, in a statement after the vote: “The United States provides considerable financial assistance to the United Nations and Security Council members. The UN and nations supporting this resolution have now imperiled all forms of U.S. assistance. I look forward to working with President-elect Trump and members of both parties in Congress to decide what the consequences for this action will be.”
Currently, the U.S. spends “approximately $8 billion in mandatory payments and voluntary contributions to the United Nations and its affiliated organizations,” according to Fox News. The U.S. accounts for 22% of the UN’s regular budget.
A statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that Israel looked forward to working with Trump to undo the effects of the resolution:
Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall “occupied territory.” The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes. Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.