Sens. Cruz and Graham Introduce Safeguard Israel Act to Prohibit Taxpayer Dollars to UN Until It Repeals Anti-Israel UNSC Resolution
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January 12, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) today introduced the Safeguard Israel Act, which will cut off funding to the United Nations until the President certifies to Congress that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 has been repealed. The resolution passed last month undermines and delegitimizes our our ally, Israel.
“I’m proud to be working with Lindsey on this important legislation,” Sen. Cruz said. “President Obama betrayed decades of robust bipartisan American support for Israel at the United Nations by permitting the passage of a biased resolution that condemns our close friend and ally. The Security Council’s resolution is only the latest example of the UN’s long history of obsessive hostility towards Israel and we must not let this shameful action stand. Congress must hold the UN accountable and use our leverage as its largest contributor to push for the repeal of this resolution, making it clear to the world that Congress stands unequivocally against efforts to undermine Israel.”
“Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the UN comes from the American taxpayer,” Sen. Graham said. “I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Mideast, and takes the settlement issue and says that's the most important and only issue in terms of an impediment to peace. I begged the UN months before, don't put me in this box. This was John Kerry and Obama taking a slap at Israel. We're going to push back. I think most Americans believe that the United Nations has become more anti-Semitic, more anti-Israeli. And I’m a big internationalist, but we're going to stop the money until we get this fixed. I appreciate Ted's leadership on this.”
In their legislation, Sens. Cruz and Graham outline numerous reasons why UNSC Resolution 2334 should be repealed, including:
· It attempts to pre-judge the basis for negotiations, predetermine the outcome of negotiations, and dictate terms and conditions, which is an abandonment of long-standing policy of the United States and previous commitments made to Israel.
· It falsely claims that Israel’s sovereignty over the eastern part of Jerusalem and Jewish communities in the West Bank are illegal under international law, and that the Old City of Jerusalem, along with the Temple Mount, the holiest site for the Jewish people, and the Western Wall are ‘‘occupied Palestinian territory’’
· It encourages the International Criminal Court to open an illegitimate formal investigation against Israel.
· It will help to strengthen the Palestinian diplomatic, economic, and legal warfare campaign against Israel and encourages boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against Israel
The United States is the largest contributor of funding to the United Nations, providing 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget, the highest of any member state, which gives the U.S. considerable influence over the United Nations. The United States must use this influence to help our allies, in this case Israel, which is crucial to our own national security interests.
Full text of the Safeguard Israel Act may be found here.