Tags: Israel | United Nations | lindsey graham | senator | un security council | israel settlements | israel

Lindsey Graham Warns UN: 'Congress Is a Player on Foreign Policy'

Image: Lindsey Graham Warns UN: 'Congress Is a Player on Foreign Policy'

 Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), right. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 04:36 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham Saturday again blasted the U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements and reiterated his pledge to "lead the charge to withhold funding until they repeal this resolution."

"It is a decades-old policy by the United States to make sure the parties negotiate on the ground in the Mideast, not in the U.N. Security Council," the South Carolina Republican told Dana Bash on CNN.

Graham, who chairs a Senate subcommittee that oversees funding for the U.N., told Bash that he talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Friday's vote.

"He told me when it comes to the U.N., the gloves are off," the senator said. "I told him, 'That's how I will respond in kind.'"

The United Nations receives 22 percent of its annual budget from the United States — and "the U.N. needs to be put on notice that Congress is a player when it comes to American foreign policy," Graham said.

"I don't believe most Americans want to fund an organization that can't see the difference between a democracy, Israel, and a terrorist organization, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority."

The Obama administration abstained in the 14-0 vote Friday, dismissing President-elect Donald Trump's demand on Thursday to veto the resolution.

Trump also came under attack for involving himself in the affairs of a sitting president.

The president-elect tweeted Friday that "things will be different after Jan. 20th."

With the abstention cast by U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, "President Obama is just not giving the finger to [Netanyahu], he is putting the entire Jewish state, the state of Israel, at risk by having the international community calling it an outlaw, taking a one-sided view of the dispute," Graham said.

"I would like a two-state solution," he added. "I would love the Palestinians to live in dignity along beside a secure Israel. That's not going to happen any time soon.

"I don't see any situation where Israel can constructively engage in the peace process as long as this resolution is in being. If you want to restart the process, rebuild the resolution."

Graham also disputed claims by Powers on Friday that the settlement-building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem troubled the Palestinians, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

The terrorist group Hamas has governed the area since 2007.

"There is no peace between the Palestinians and Israel not because of land," Graham told Bash. "Israel gave up the entire Gaza Strip. They withdrew completely.

"Gaza now is in the hand of Hamas — 10,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

"The settlement issue, the land problem, is not why we don't have peace. The problem is that Hamas wants to drive Israel into the ocean.

"It is not a land problem," the senator emphasized. "It is an attitude problem.

"How do you do peace when people are committed to destroying you?"

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Sen. Lindsey Graham Saturday again blasted the U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements and reiterated his pledge to "lead the charge to withhold funding until they repeal this resolution."
lindsey graham, senator, un security council, israel settlements, israel
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2016-36-24
Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 04:36 PM
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