by: Joshua Spurlock
Monday, 09 January 2017 | Legislators on both sides of the political aisle in the United States have come out strongly to defend Israel against the United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel and calling biblical Jerusalem and the Western Wall “occupied” territory—and now those legislators are putting their votes where their mouths are. The US House of Representatives easily passed a resolution late last week calling for the UN to repeal the resolution and the U.S. Senate is working on a similar resolution with bipartisan support. The House also warned the upcoming Paris peace conference later this month against any similar moves to predetermine a Middle East peace agreement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the House for their support. “After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN, the US House of Representatives voted resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.” Indeed, the Obama Administration’s failure to veto the UN move was criticized by even the most senior-ranking member of President Barack Obama’s own Democrat party.
US Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the senate, said in a press release that he had spoken to the Obama Administration and “in the strongest terms possible, urged them to veto” the UN resolution.
“Past administrations—both Democrat and Republican—have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, by abstaining on United Nations Resolutions 2334, this administration has not followed in that path,” said Schumer. “This Senate resolution reaffirms that peace must come through direct negotiations in order to achieve a sustainable two-state solution.”
Meanwhile, the House resolution passed by a margin of over four-to-one in favor, with more than half of Obama’s own party members in the House supporting the statement that said the UN action “undermined the long-standing position of the United States to oppose and veto United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues or are one-sided and anti-Israel, reversing decades of bipartisan agreement.”
Furthermore, the House resolution calls not only for the repeal or fundamental change of the UN resolution, but threatens that any other similar action by the UN Security Council or the Paris peace conference could “weaken support for such organizations.”
The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, said in a press statement that “unquestionably, this UN Security Council action damages the prospects for peace.”
Royce said that passing the House resolution calling for the repeal of the UN action was also important because it seeks to “head-off any more moves the Obama Administration might have in the next few days and to provide the foundation for the next Administration to move forcefully to counteract its dangerous impact.”
Netanyahu, in another press release from his office, said that they will “act in accordance with the Congress’s decision, either to repeal the UNSC resolution or to change it so that it does not damage Israel.”
Netanyahu noted that they are just days away from the Paris conference, noting they are “making a very great effort to prevent another Security Council resolution.”
Said the Israeli leader, “Again, I would like to welcome the sweeping, bipartisan support in the American Congress against the anti-Israeli resolution that was adopted by the UN and against other similar resolutions. Of course, this is one effort, but not the only effort that we are making in order to prevent bad resolutions against Israel at the UN.”
Posted on January 9, 2017
Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 08 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)
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