Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and incoming Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are among 21 senators who have signed onto legislation that rejects the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2334, which calls Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem “illegal.”
The December 23 anti-Israel resolution passed nearly unanimously besides the Obama administration’s decision to break with tradition and abstain from voting instead of vetoing it. Because the United States is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a veto from them would have automatically failed the resoution and prevented it from passing.
The bipartisan legislation rejecting UN Res 2443 was co-authored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). It also has the support of 10 other Democrats who broke with President Obama and urges all U.S. presidents and their administrations to uphold the American tradition of “vetoing all United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to insert the Council into the peace process, recognize unilateral Palestinian actions including declaration of a Palestinian state, or dictate terms and a timeline for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Democratic Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) also signed the bipartisan measure.
The legislation quotes Obama, who in a 2011 speech before the United Nations General Assembly said, “peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”
It adds, “the United Nations has taken a long-standing biased approach towards Israel,” and notes that the “United Nations is not the appropriate venue and should not be a forum used for seeking unilateral action, recognition, or dictating parameters for a two-state solution, including the status of Jerusalem.”
Additionally, it calls for UN Res 2334 “to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that it is no longer one-sided,” and states that any efforts by the UN, it’s agencies, its member states and other international organizations to use the anti-Israel resolution to further isolate Israel through the BDS movement or other measures will be rejected.
A complementary resolution, introduced and co-authored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and the committee’s top Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), will be voted on the House floor on Thursday. It has bipartisan support.
On Monday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Royce released a joint statement saying the Obama “administration has lost all credibility when it comes to Israel.” They also noted that on “Thursday, the House will not abstain from its responsibility and will vote on a bipartisan resolution reaffirming our longstanding policy in the region and support of Israel.”
Shortly after being sworn into the 115th Congress Tuesday, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act which would order the White House to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital — which the Obama administration has refused to do — and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. The bill, introduced by Heller, also calls for withholding certain State Department funds until the relocation is complete.
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