Gingrich urges Congress to condemn non-veto at the UN
search

Gingrich urges Congress to condemn non-veto at the UN

When Trump takes office, he must prepare ‘comprehensive offensive… to undo the damage to Israel the Obama team is inflicting,’ former House speaker says

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

BUFFALO, NEW YORK — Former House speaker Newt Gingrich called on Congress Monday to condemn the Obama administration for allowing an anti-settlements resolution to pass the United Nations Security Council last week.

Gingrich, a staunch supporter of President-elect Donald Trump since early in the campaign, took to Twitter to castigate the US acceptance of a measure that condemned Israeli settlements and called for a halt to all construction in areas Israel gained in the 1967 Six Day War.

The Georgia Republican accused President Barack Obama of “waging a war on Israel” and “taking steps to isolate and then kill a democracy and an ally” by having the United States abstain in the vote, enabling it to pass.

Resolution 2334 was approved Friday with 14 member states voting in favor, none voting against and one abstention — the United States. A US veto would have killed the measure.

The text, originally submitted by Cairo, calls on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” and asks all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967,” language that Israel fears will lead to a surge in boycott and sanctions efforts.

In this Feb. 16, 2016 file photo Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
In this Feb. 16, 2016 file photo Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Explaining the US decision to allow the resolution through, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters Friday that the US “could not in good conscience veto” the resolution, since it was narrowly enough focused on settlements and included language critical of Palestinian incitement and terrorism.

The text, however, does not explicitly cite Palestinian behavior, although it condemns “all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,” which some in the international community understand as attempting to make the resolution “balanced.”

Responding to the resolution’s passage, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “shameful” and “scandalous,” accusing the Obama administration of colluding with other Security Council member states to push forward the measure.

He also called into question the Obama administration’s commitment to its friendship with Israel. At his weekly cabinet address Sunday, he said he told Secretary of State John Kerry that “friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingrich echoed the sentiment Monday, urging those on Capitol Hill to pass their own resolution on January 3 and 4, when federal lawmakers return to work, condemning the move and demanding that the Obama administration not take any further action regarding Israel during its time in office, including the upcoming French initiative.

And when Trump takes office next month, he needs to “prepare a comprehensive offensive… to undo the damage to Israel the Obama team is inflicting,” Gingrich added.

Capitol Hill’s GOP leaders may be receptive to such initiatives.

Current House speaker Paul Ryan called the resolution “absolutely shameful” and said the upcoming “unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration,” while Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell called the US abstention “a failure of leadership and judgment” by the current president.

read more:
comments