WASHINGTON — Republicans in both chambers of Congress are moving quickly to condemn the United Nations for passing a Security Council resolution last week that said Israeli settlements had “no legal validity” and constitute “a flagrant violation under international law.”
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran (R) and Florida Rep. Dennis Ross (R) both indicated that they are planning to introduce separate measures of disapproval over UNSC Resolution 2334 once Capitol Hill lawmakers reconvene next week.
More than 100 Members of Congress have issued statements opposing the resolution, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The resolution, which passed by a vote of 14-0 following a US abstention, calls for a complete end to all construction in areas Israel gained after the 1967 Six Day War, territory that includes the Old City, with the Temple Mount and Western Wall.
Furthermore, the text calls on all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” Israel fears such language will lead to an uptick in boycott and sanctions efforts, and Israeli officials have warned it will provide “a tailwind for terror.”
The resolution’s passage was met with furious condemnations from Jerusalem, with politicians issuing scathing criticisms of the countries that pushed for and supported the measure, as well as Washington for withholding its veto power.
The Obama administration’s decision to allow the resolution through was also denounced by a host of American Jewish organizations, Republican lawmakers and even some members of US President Barack Obama’s own Democratic Party, including party whip Steny Hoyer.
Sen. Moran said he intends to introduce a Senate resolution next week that will serve as a companion to Rep. Ross’s proposal. If both resolutions pass, it will place each chamber firmly on record opposing the United Nations for its most recent censure of Israel.
While Republicans are taking the lead on the proposed Senate resolution, it may also prove popular with Democrats who have spoken critically of the Security Council’s motion.
Following Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech Wednesday laying out his principles for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, one of the most prominent Jewish members of Congress, said the address and UN action had “emboldened extremists on both sides.”
The push for anti-UN measures in Congress comes shortly after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, called on activists to pressure Washington representatives to speak out against the resolution.
In an online form, the group asked individuals to thank their federal representatives if they’ve spoken in opposition to the Security Council resolution, or if they haven’t, to encourage them to do so, adding that the UN measure “hinders the peace process.”
The House will vote at some point next week on the resolution of disapproval Rep. Ross introduced, according to Politico. Thus far, the exact language of the measure has not yet been solidified.