December 30, 2016
Senate Republicans could rebuke the United Nations’ for condemning Israeli settlement construction as early as next week.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., plans to introduce a “sense of the Senate” resolution issuing the rebuke next week. The formal condemnation resolution would be the first official action against the U.N. by the Senate GOP in response to the Security Council resolution, which passed because President Obama refused to veto it.
“I am committed to working with both Republicans and Democrats to make sure we stand with Israel and that the United Nations cannot be used as a forum to create policies that hurt our nation and its allies,” Moran said Friday.
The Security Council resolution was long feared by Israel and their congressional allies, as rumors percolated throughout the fall that the Obama administration would countenance a condemnation of Israeli settlement construction in disputed Palestinian territory. That worry blossomed into a diplomatic fight last week, when Egypt unveiled a draft proposal, only to withdraw the resolution under pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President-elect Trump.
The U.N. resolution was re-introduced last Friday, however, and passed 14-0 with the United States abstaining. Secretary of State John Kerry reinforced the passage of the resolution by giving a speech in which he argued that Israel’s expansion of settlements was jeopardizing the possibility of a negotiated peace with the Palestinians. “Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has made a series of blatantly misguided choices when it comes to working with our strongest ally in the Middle East,” Moran said. “The incoming administration will have to work overtime to repair the damage President Obama has done.”
Moran’s rebuke, which was first reported by Politico, might not be the only formal action taken by Republican leaders. Several Senate Republicans called for cuts to UN funding over the vote, although it’s not clear if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would support such a move.