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Conservatives Blast UN, Obama on Israel Vote: 'Cowardly, Disgraceful Action'

Image: Conservatives Blast UN, Obama on Israel Vote: 'Cowardly, Disgraceful Action'

Sen. Ted Cruz (AP)

By    |   Friday, 23 Dec 2016 05:24 PM

Conservatives Friday ripped the U.N. Security Council for condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — and the Obama administration's abstention from the unanimous vote — with Sen. Lindsey Graham threatening to cut funding to the United Nations.

"This provocative action by the United Nations is an outrage and must be dealt with sternly and forcefully," said the South Carolina Republican, who chairs a subcommittee that oversees funding to the organization. "The United States is currently responsible for approximately 22 percent of the United Nations total budget.

"The Obama-Kerry foreign policy has gone from naïve and foolish to flat-out reckless," he added. "With friends like these, Israel doesn’t need any enemies."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he supported Graham's call to strip the U.N. of federal funding "and reconsider aid to countries if they fail to join our opposition."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the abstention was "a failure of leadership and judgment" by President Barack Obama.

"It is highly regrettable that one of President Obama's last actions in office was again to abandon our ally Israel," the Kentucky Republican said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called the vote "absolutely shameful."

"Today's vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel," the Wisconsin congressman said. "Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel."

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton declared that Obama was "personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution.

"His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it," the first-term GOP member said. "This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history."

In a 14-0 vote, the Security Council declared the Israeli settlements to be a "flagrant violation of international law" and to have "no legal validity."

The resolution demanded a halt to "all Israeli settlement activities," calling it "essential for salvaging the two-state solution."

The vote came a day after Egypt suddenly postponed a scheduled showdown and culminated days of frantic diplomacy in capitals around the world.

With its abstention, President Obama dismissed Donald Trump's demand Thursday that the U.S. veto the resolution and brought a climax to years of icy relations with Israel's leadership.

Trump vowed on Twitter Friday that "things will be different after Jan. 20th."

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Jewish state "rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. and will not abide by its terms."

The abstention proved to be one of the biggest American rebukes of Israel in recent memory — and it could hinder the Jewish state's negotiating position in future peace talks.

"Today's passage of [a] resolution on Israeli settlements marks another shameful chapter in the [U.N.'s] bizarre anti-Israel history," Arizona Sen. John McCain told Fox News via Twitter.

Cotton noted that President Obama vetoed a similar — "but less anti-Israel resolution" — in 2011, "when he still needed pro-Israel voters for his re-election."

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said that Obama's abstention "marks his final betrayal of Israel.

"His days of emboldening our enemies and weakening our friends are thankfully coming to an end."

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, called the abstention "an act of utter cowardice.

"This dramatic shift in U.S. policy leaves our strongest ally in the region vulnerable," he said.

"To make matters worse, this cowardly act — under the cover of the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays — comes when the fallout will be left to the incoming administration."

Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said that "the actions of the Obama administration will forever be remembered as a dark, shameful moment for our country.

"Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to be a partner for peace, President Obama chose to break with long-standing diplomatic practices and allowed the one-sided, anti-Israel United Nations to be used as a tool to bludgeon Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East."

Others lashed out on Twitter: 

 

 

 

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Conservatives Friday ripped the U.N. Security Council for condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — and the Obama administration's abstention from the unanimous vote — with Sen. Lindsey Graham threatening to cut funding to the United Nations.
conservatives, reaction, un, israel, vote
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2016-24-23
Friday, 23 Dec 2016 05:24 PM
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