Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have announced their backing for a resolution that objects to the United Nations’ recent condemnations of Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, Politico reported on Wednesday.
The backing of both all but assures the Senate will move to publicly criticize the international body over the anti-Israel vote, in which the U.S. abstained, thus allowing the resolution to pass.
The resolution, written by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) with heavy input from leadership in both parties, will express “grave objection” to the UN vote in December and calls for a reversal of the action, according to Politico.
The resolution “urges the current presidential administration and all future presidential administrations to uphold the practice of vetoing all United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to insert the Council into the peace process, recognize unilateral Palestinian actions including declaration of a Palestinian state, or dictate terms and a timeline for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to the draft text.
As well, the resolution “demands that the United States ensure that no action is taken at the Paris Conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict scheduled for January 15, 2017."
Given the effort’s bipartisan nature, noted Politico the resolution does not explicitly criticize the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from vetoing the UN’s 14-0 vote, but does demand that both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump work against further anti-Israel actions by the UN.
“This resolution expresses the Senate's rejection of continued anti-Israel efforts at the United Nations, reiterates our commitment to Israel, and urges the incoming administration to work with Congress on this issue,” Rubio said in a statement.
According to Politico, Rubio and Cardin already have 20 co-sponsors for the measure, including Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John McCain of Arizona and Democrats like Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who introduced his own response to the UN, is also on board.
The U.S. abstention at the Security Council, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry's speech in which he criticized “settlements” as being an obstacle to peace, have resulted in much criticism from American lawmakers.
Following last Wednesday’s speech, Rubio accused Kerry of undermining America's moral standing in the world.
"The greatest immediate threat to the future of Israel is not a stalled peace process, or settlements, but the abandonment of the Jewish state by the current U.S. administration at a time when it needs America’s support more than ever," said Rubio.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Obama and Kerry would be remembered in history as “relentless enemies of Israel”.