On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, took to the House floor to speak in support of a non-binding resolution opposing a UN Security Resolution calling Israeli settlement in disputed territory “illegal.”
The Obama administration abstained on the vote, refusing to veto it. Ros-Lehitnen’s remarks are below:
This resolution won’t undo the damage that has been done at the Security Council, but it sends an important message to the world that Congress resoundingly, and in a strong bipartisan manner, disapproves of the vote taken on resolution 2334. And it sends a warning to the nations that will gather in Paris next week to discuss the peace process that there will be repercussions if there is a move to introduce a parameters resolution before the 20th in an effort to further isolate Israel.
Our closest friend and ally, the democratic Jewish state of Israel, has been under constant attack at the UN. Abu Mazen and the Palestinians have pushed a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish State, to undermine the peace process, and to achieve unilateral statehood recognition. We’ve seen it this year at UNESCO, where that sham of an institution voted on several occasions to deny and distance Jewish and Christian historical and cultural ties to Jerusalem. We’ve seen it at the Human Rights Council, where Israel is constantly demonized and falsely accused of human rights violations, while real abuses of rights go unpunished because that body has utterly failed to uphold its mandate. This is a body that allows worst abusers of human rights like Cuba, Venezuela, and China to sit in judgment and to protect human rights worldwide. What a joke; yet the only thing they can agree upon is to attack Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the only place where human rights are protected in the region. We’ve even seen this scheme to delegitimize Israel at the General Assembly, where in its closing legislative session, the General Assembly passed 20 anti-Israel resolutions, and only 4 combined for the rest of the world.
These institutions have no credibility and now we have the unfortunate circumstance of the White House deciding to abstain from an anti-Israel, one-sided resolution at the Security Council. Our ally was abandoned, and credibility and momentum was given to the Palestinian schemes to delegitimize the Jewish state and undermine the peace process. And while damage has been done by this act of cowardice at the Security Council, we will have an opportunity to reverse that damage, Mr. Speaker.
In the coming weeks and months, this Congress and the incoming administration must show unyielding support for our ally, Israel, and undo the damage done. This resolution is the all-important first step that signals our intent. Let the members of the UN Security Council take notice, let Abu Mazen and the Palestinian leadership take notice, that Congress will not allow these acts to pass without response. I urge my colleagues to support this measure and I look forward to working with Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel this Congress in support of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., was first elected to Congress in 1989.
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