Congress is setting the stage to completely cut off U.S. funding of the United Nations in the aftermath of a unanimous vote last week where the Obama Administration permitted an anti-Israel resolution to win overwhelming approval in the security council.
There are other punitive actions the GOP-controlled congress could take – from scaling back ties with foreign nations that voted for the measure to expelling Palestinian diplomats from the U.S., the Washington Free Beacon is reporting.
The Obama Administration has been under blistering attack from both sides for their part in the unanimous vote that condemned continued Jewish settlement building on the West Bank – a move that reversed decades of U.S. foreign policy on the matter.
The Obama Administration played a key role in facilitating the vote, including a call from Vice President Joe Biden to the Ukrainian President to urge a “yes” vote. They had previously planned to abstain too.
With anger over the issue still roiling, leading members of Congress said they will not delay in seeking retribution against the U.N. for the vote. This could include cutting off U.S. funding for the U.N. and stripping the Palestinian mission’s diplomatic privileges.
Lawmakers will also work to rebuff further attempts by the Obama administration to chastise Israel on the international stage. This would include freezing funds that could be spent by the administration on further U.N. action.
“The disgraceful anti-Israel resolution passed by the UNSC was apparently only the opening salvo in the Obama administration’s final assault on Israel,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told the Free Beacon. “President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Ambassador Power, and their colleagues should remember that the United States Congress reconvenes on January 3rd, and under the Constitution we control the taxpayer funds they would use for their anti-Israel initiatives.”
The 115th Congress must stop the current administration’s vicious attack on our great ally Israel, and address the major priorities of the incoming administration,” Cruz said.
Even though the new session of Congress doesn’t begin for some time, lawmakers will be working overtime to craft legislation that will avoid further damaging the U.S.-Israeli relationship, in anticipation of the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20.
A second senior congressional aide working on a package of repercussions expressed fear that the U.N. vote was just the first salvo targeting Israel.
“The question now is whether this was the finale or the prologue of what this administration has planned against Israel,” the source said, adding that “everything is on the table right now — including funding cuts and scaling back diplomatic relations with countries that brought forward this resolution.”
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