Congress to Vote on Symbolic Resolution Condemning UN

Ed Royce (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

On Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a bipartisan resolution condemning United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2334,which calls Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem “illegal.”

House Resolution 11 (H.Res.11), 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), has acquired 51 co-sponsors from both parties.

While the bill argues that the passage of UNSC Res 2334 “undermines the prospect of Israelis and Palestinians resuming productive, direct negotiations,” contributes to the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel,and is “an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace,” it does not appear to outline any tangible consequences for the UN against its action.

It states, “the House of Representatives opposes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and will work to strengthen the United States-Israel relationship, and calls for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that it is no longer one-sided and anti- Israel; and it allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties.”

On Monday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Royce released a joint statement about the upcoming vote, 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.”

While, in theory, the House resolution is a strong verbal condemnation of the UN’s anti-Israel resolution, it does nothing to punish the UN for its repeated attacks on Israel in practice. The bill, for example, does not call for defunding the UN and appears, instead, to be more symbolic than anything else.

The Senate also has introduced bipartisan legislation — signed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and incoming Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — that rejects UNSC Res 2334 and condemns the UN.

However, the strongest action so far has come from Senators Ted Cruz (R-TC), Dean Heller (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). The trio 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 which calls for withholding certain State Department funds until the U.S. embassy is relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Writing at Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz called the resolution a “sham” that does nothing to punish the UN and reiterates support for a two-state solution to appease Democrats.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz



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