House overwhelmingly condemns UN's anti-Israel resolution
House of Representatives votes in favor of a resolution rebuking UN for passing Resolution 2The House of Representatives on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution rebuking the United Nations for passing Resolution 2334 that condemned Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.
The bipartisan House measure passed 342-80, according to Politico. It is likely to be followed by a similar, largely symbolic non-binding resolution in the Senate. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have already announced their backing for the measure.
Although its wording does not explicitly state so, the House statement also was a scolding of outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration for breaking with longstanding U.S. policy and not vetoing the UN resolution, thus allowing it to go through.
“The United States Government should oppose and veto future United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel,” the House measure states, according to Politico.
The measure also stated that Resolution 2334 "undermines the prospect of Israelis and Palestinians resuming productive, direct negotiations" and "contributes to the politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel and represents a concerted effort to extract concessions from Israel outside of direct negotiations."
The statement further demands that the UN repeal or fundamentally alter the measure it passed.
“We are condemning what happened because we think it’s unfair and unjust,” said Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during the debate ahead of the vote.
“Throughout its entire history, the state of Israel has never gotten a fair shake from the United Nations," he added, according to Politico.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan declared himself "stunned" that the Obama administration allowed the UN to go after Israel.
“Do not be fooled. This UN Security Council resolution was not about settlements, and it certainly was not about peace," Ryan was quoted as having said. "It was about one thing and one thing only: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish Democratic state.”
Shortly after the vote at the Security Council, Ryan blasted the Obama administration for abstaining, saying the abstention was "absolutely shameful."
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on the Middle East, applauded the passage of the House resolution.
“After the appalling vote at the UN, it is critical for Congress to reaffirm its support for Israel, and that is exactly what the House did today,” said Meng.
“The passage of this measure says loud and clear that the House denounces the UN resolution, and continues to stand in solidarity with our dear friend and ally. We must have Israel’s back, and I will continue to oppose future anti-Israel resolutions at the UN The common goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security will only be achieved from direct negotiations between the two parties,” she added.
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon also welcomed the House vote.
"Today's resolution is a testament to the bipartisan support for the State of Israel in the United States. Leaders from both parties proved once again that the U.S.-Israel alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also on shared values," said Ambassador Danon."This special relationship has endured the test of time and I have no doubt that it will continue to be strengthened in the future. I look 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," he added.334.