Senate Democrats Condemn Obama for Anti-Israel UN Vote

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Some Senate Democrats have issued scathing statements against President Barack Obama and his administration’s decision to break with longstanding tradition to veto anti-Israel resolutions, choosing, instead, to abstain from voting in a United Nations Security Council vote. The vote called for a halt to Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Among the Democrats are Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-VT), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Chris Coons (D-DE), all of whom echoed Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s call just one day earlier for America to veto the resolution that he said would put “Israel in a very poor negotiating position” and be “extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

Sen. Schumer, who is the incoming Senate Democratic leader and also Jewish, pointed out that the “U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of ‘Zionism is racism’ and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished”:

“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution,” Schumer said. “[P]ast Administrations – both Democrat and Republican- have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this Administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”

Schumer had also opposed the Iran nuclear deal last year. However, his word was not enough to prevent it from passing.

Sen. Casey said, “I called on Admin to veto UN resolution on Israel. I am disappointed that the U.S. delegation did not use veto power on security council”:

Manchin, whose seat is no longer safe after Trump won West Virginia by 69 percentage points on November 8, said, “I urge the Obama administration to veto the United Nations resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building.” He added, “I support two-party negotiations to reach agreement on any settlement issues, and this U.N. resolution is not the way to pursue peace between the Palestinian Authority and the state of Israel.”

Blumenthal said, “Consistent with past policy, this administration must now veto this most recent misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process,” Sen. Blumenthal said. He stated that the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from voting on this “flagrantly one-sided resolution is unconscionable.”

Sen. Warner said he was “dismayed that the Administration departed from decades of U.S. policy by not vetoing the UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements”:

Other Senate Democrats who opposed the Obama administration’s decision to abstain include Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Among Democratic senators who have remained silent are Dick Durbin (D-IL), Harry Reid (D-NV), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and John Tester (D-MT).

Some Democrats who issued statements in support of the Obama administration’s dissent against the Jewish State of Israel include Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Senior members of Congress and some in the Senate have openly called for defunding the United Nations in response to Friday’s vote, which allowed the anti-Israel resolution to pass.

President-elect Trump sent out a tweet on Friday, in which he stated, “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.” Trump will formally be sworn in as the 45th U.S. president on that date:

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz.


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