The US House of Representatives voted Thursday to condemn a UN anti-Israel resolution over its Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria and East Jerusalem, blasting last month’s move by the international body as “an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
The congressional measure passed 342 to 80, with broad bipartisan support. It noted in particular that the US administration’s refusal to veto the controversial Security Council measure “undermined” Washington’s decades-long position of opposing anti-Israel action at the United Nations.
American-Jewish groups quickly praised the the House measure for denouncing the motion as both unfair to Israel and damaging to the overall cause of peace.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, said it “applauds” the repudiation.
The UN resolution, AIPAC said, “both undermines the prospects of productive, bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and one-sidedly criticizes Israel.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt as well as national chair Marvin Nathan also commended the House for the resolution and this provision.
In a statement, the Jewish leaders said the measure helps to affirm Congress’ “commitment to ensure that all final status Israeli-Palestinian issues, including settlements, are resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also praised the move, calling it “a testament to the bipartisan support for the State of Israel in the United States.”
Danon said in a statement he looked forward to “working with the new American administration to end the bias against Israel at the UN and to usher in a new era of accountability in the parliament of nations.”
Incensed US lawmakers — and President-elect Donald Trump — have assailed Barack Obama’s outgoing administration for abstaining in the December 23 vote instead of vetoing the UN resolution, essentially clearing the way for its passage.
“I am stunned at what happened last month. This government — our government — abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told the chamber shortly before the House vote.
“It is time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN,” he added. “It’s time to rebuild our partnership” with the Jewish state.
A similar bipartisan resolution was introduced in the US Senate, where Republican Ted Cruz on Thursday slammed Obama and his administration, saying the failure to veto the UN measure marked their attempt “to lash out… at Israel with their last breath in office.”
Cruz said he will propose legislation designed to cut US funding to the United Nations unless the anti-Israel resolution is repealed or made more balanced.