January 04, 2017

Cardin and Rubio Introduce Senate Resolution Condemning Anti-Israel Efforts at United Nations

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today introduced a Senate resolution objecting to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, as well as all efforts that undermine direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a secure and peaceful settlement. They are joined in this effort by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV), John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Todd Young (R-IN).

“Efforts to delegitimize Israel have been underway a long time at the United Nations and have now sadly been aided by the outgoing administration, but the time has come to turn back the tide and renew America’s commitment to the Jewish state,” said Rubio. “When it comes to the U.S.-Israel alliance, we believe that senators of both parties must stand firmly with Israel and condemn efforts to undermine Israel's legitimacy. 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.”

“I am deeply disappointed that the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334, which is a one-sided text that makes direct negotiations for a two-state solution more challenging.  Our Senate Resolution sends the message that the U.S.-Israel partnership is ironclad,” said Cardin.  “Going forward, Congress will take action against efforts at the UN or beyond that use Resolution 2334 to target Israel.  I hope that in 2017 we can look at policies and actions that facilitate resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and I stand ready to support productive efforts.”

“The decision taken by the President to abstain from this vote--to fail to act on behalf of an ally represents a failure of leadership and judgment. It is highly regrettable that one of President Obama's last actions in office was again to abandon our ally Israel,” said McConnell. “As this resolution notes, the United Nations is not the appropriate venue for dictating parameters for a two state solution, this can only come from direct negotiations between the parties.”

“Since the days of ‘Zionism is racism,’ the U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body and, unfortunately, that bias has never diminished. Knowing this, past administrations – both Democrat and Republican – have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution,” said Schumer. “Unfortunately, by abstaining on United Nations Resolutions 2334, this administration has not followed in that path. This Senate resolution reaffirms that peace must come through direct negotiations in order to achieve a sustainable two-state solution.”

A PDF of the resolution is available here. The resolution:

  • Expresses grave objection to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016);
  • Calls for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that it is no longer one-sided and allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties;
  • Rejects efforts by outside bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, to impose solutions from the outside that set back the cause of peace;
  • 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, that imposes an agreement or parameters on the parties;
  • Notes that granting membership and statehood standing to the Palestinians at the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and other international institutions outside of the context of a bilateral peace agreement with Israel would cause severe harm to the peace process, and would likely trigger the implementation of penalties under sections 7036 and 7041(j) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (division K of Public Law 114–113);
  • Rejects any efforts by the United Nations, United Nations agencies, United Nations member states, and other international organizations to use United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to further isolate Israel through economic or other boycotts or any other measures, and urges the United States Government to take action where needed to counter any attempts to use United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to further isolate Israel;
  • 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;
  • Reaffirms that it is the policy of the United States to continue to seek a sustainable, just, and secure two-state solution to resolve the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians; and
  • Urges the incoming Administration to work with Congress to create conditions that facilitate the resumption of direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions between Israelis and Palestinians with the goal of achieving a sustainable agreement that is acceptable to both sides.

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