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COLUMN: Stand with Israel by Rejecting United Nations Attack

January 6, 2017
Weekly Column and Op-Ed

In the final weeks of the Obama administration, few actions have been as shocking as the decision to abandon our best ally in the Middle East, Israel. Israel not only shares our democratic values, but it is also a key U.S. ally in anti-terrorism efforts. The U.S. has traditionally exercised its veto power it has on the United Nations Security Council to prevent one-sided anti-Israel measures from being approved. The shameful abstention by the Obama administration in December’s Security Council vote on Resolution 2334, which was blatantly anti-Israel, stabbed our friend in the back.

The UN resolution was so extreme that it declared the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, as “occupied territory,” denying Israel’s ancient connection to the last remnants of the Second Jewish Temple.

The UN resolution undermines the peace process because any Israeli-Palestinian solution must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties, not imposed by anti-Israel representatives at the UN. The UN resolution hardens both sides rather than encouraging the goal of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace.

In 2015, I had the opportunity to visit Israel, the only democracy in the region, and I saw firsthand the reality of the dire security situation facing Israelis. Many Americans have no idea how precarious the existence of Israel is, with routine acts of terrorism and regional enemies such as Iran vowing to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

On Thursday, January 5th, I voted in favor of a Congressional resolution to disapprove of President Obama’s decision to abandon Israel at the UN. The bipartisan vote of 342-80 in the House united Republicans and Democrats to send a strong message to condemn the administration’s decision.

My hope is that the damage done to the American-Israeli alliance will be repaired under the incoming administration. At a time of increasing violence and turmoil in the Middle East, America needs to stand by its friends. It is my commitment to continue to stand with Israel.