Sunday, January 8, 2017

US House votes to condemn UN's anti-settlement resolution - Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff 

"It is time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the U.N. It's time to rebuild our partnership with Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security," says House Speaker Paul Ryan • Some say the move is an attempt to "trash" Obama.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan
Photo credit: Reuters

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Thursday to condemn United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 , which had demanded an end to Israeli settlement-building.

House Resolution 11, introduced by Republican Ed Royce of California and supported by roughly 30 Democratic representatives, passed 342 to 80.

Credit: Reuters
The resolution broadly said the U.N. vote from Dec. 23 was an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace, criticized the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama for abandoning long-standing U.S. foreign policy by abstaining, called for a repeal of the U.N. resolution and provided measures for the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to limit the effects of the U.N. resolution, according to the House Foreign Affairs Committee website.

"What this resolution attempts to do is to reject the U.N. resolution that calls for a Palestinian state but not a Jewish state. A resolution that opens the door for those who want to impose boycott, divestment or other sanctions measures against Israel or Israeli companies. And in essence declarers Judaism's holiest site as occupied territory," said Congressman Ed Royce, a Republican from California, who introduced the resolution.

"I am stunned at what happened last month. This government, our government, abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most," said House Speaker Paul Ryan on the House floor during debate on House Res. 11. "It is time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the U.N. It's time to rebuild our partnership with Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security," Ryan said.

U.N. Resolution 2334 was able to pass the 15-member Security Council because the United States broke with a long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power as it had in the past.

Trump had joined Israeli leaders in attacking the Obama administration's decision to abstain and make passage of the anti-settlement resolution possible.

Some lawmakers who opposed the House resolution said during the debate that it misrepresents the actual facts around U.S. policy towards votes that impact Israel, and claimed that the impetus behind the resolution was to strike a blow to Obama during the final days of his presidency.

"Who are we kidding? I heard the ranking member say this isn't about Obama. And yet virtually every statement on the other side of the aisle is trashing President Obama," said Congressman Gerald Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia. "It's subterfuge. This is about kicking a president on the way out one more time, enhancing a false narrative about his lack of support for our ally Israel. And greas[ing] the skids to defund the United Nations while they're at it," he said.

"Today, as America embarks on its own experiment with strongman politics, this Congress is falling in line," said Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois. "This Congress that allowed our chamber to be used for an Israeli campaign rally and TV commercial is bending to pressure from abroad and pressure at home," he said.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


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