The United States’ House of Representative overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution, vehemently condemning a United Nations Security Council resolution that was passed on the 23rd of December, which defines Israel’s settlement construction on lands the Palestinians demand for their future state in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal. The American resolution, which was introduced by Republican Ed Royce of California and supported by roughly 30 Democratic representatives, passed 342 in favor to 80 against. “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 declares Judaism’s holiest site as occupied territory. That is what is in this resolution,” said Royce
The House resolution broadly accuses the UN Security Council adopted resolution from the 23rd of December as an obstacle to advancing peace between Israel and the Palestinians, while criticizing the US Administration of President Barack Obama for abandoning the long-standing US foreign policy to protect Israel in the international body, while calling to repeal the UN resolution and provide measures for the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump to limit the effects of the United Nations resolution. “I am stunned, I am stunned at what happened last month. This government, our government, abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most. Do not be fooled. This U.N. Security Council resolution was not about settlements and it certainly was not about peace. It was about one thing and one thing only: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democratic state. These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and de-legitimize Israel. They do not advance peace. They make it more elusive.” / “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,” said Paul Ryan, US House Speaker – Republican.
The UN Security Council resolution 2334 was able to pass the 15-member council after the United States broke its long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding the Jewish state, and decided not to wield its veto power as it had on many similar occasions before. The decision by the Obama Administration to abstain was harshly criticized by Israel, which reiterated that only through direct negotiations was peace attainable, and accused President Barack Obama of using his last chance to influence the decades old conflict, by letting the UN resolution pass, before he leaves office. Also US President-elect Donald Trump echoed the criticism levelled at President Obama, promising to repel the UN Resolution, which he defined as anti-Israeli, once he takes office.
Some American lawmakers, who opposed the House of Representatives’ bill against the UN anti-settlements resolution, stressed that it misrepresents the actual facts around US policy towards votes that impact Israel, and claimed that the impetus behind the resolution was to strike a blow at President Obama during his last days in office, rather than protect Israel. “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. If you want to simply condemn the U.N. resolution let’s do so, I’ll join you. But that isn’t what this is about. 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 grease the skids to defund the United Nations while they’re at it,” said Gerald Connolly, US Representative – Virginia, Democrat.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the US House of Representatives resolution, by thanking the American lawmakers for their resounding support to the Jewish state. After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN, the US House of Representatives voted yesterday resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution. Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.
They voted to either repeal the resolution at the UN or change it—and that’s exactly what we intend to do. I want to thank the US House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people. Thank you, America. Thank you, Congress,” said Netanyahu.