U.N.

The Washington Times Daily - - AMERICAN SCENE -

Ron Der­mer, Is­raeli am­bas­sador to the U.S., said Mon­day he was in­ter­ested in work­ing with the in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress on the de­fund­ing is­sue, say­ing, “I think there’s a lot of changes that can hap­pen at the United Na­tions.”

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu or­dered cur­tailed re­la­tions Tues­day with a dozen of the na­tions that voted in fa­vor of the res­o­lu­tion.

“We look for­ward to dis­cussing that with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion and with Congress, and we think there has to be a real push­back against the U.N., which has be­come a cesspool not just for anti-Is­rael ac­tiv­ity but an­tiAmer­i­can ac­tiv­ity,” Mr. Der­mer told Fox News.

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has crit­i­cized the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fail­ure to veto the res­o­lu­tion, as has John R. Bolton, a for­mer U.S. am­bas­sador to the U.N. and a mem­ber of the Trump tran­si­tion team who has called for us­ing the power of the purse as lever­age to re­peal the res­o­lu­tion.

“Per­son­ally, what I would rec­om­mend to the pres­i­dent-elect is once he takes of­fice, he should say this res­o­lu­tion is il­le­git­i­mate and the United States is go­ing to seek to re­peal it,” Mr. Bolton told Fox News. “If that fails, and that’s the most likely out­come, we should cut our con­tri­bu­tions to the United Na­tions per­haps in toto un­til this res­o­lu­tion is re­pealed.”

Mr. Bolton, on the short list for State Depart­ment deputy sec­re­tary, also called for “con­se­quences” for the 14 na­tions that voted in fa­vor of the res­o­lu­tion, which in­clude Bri­tain.

“It’s just ex­tremely dis­tress­ing that even Great Bri­tain didn’t ab­stain on this res­o­lu­tion, and it shows just how much dif­fi­culty there is in the United Na­tions to try and carry out a co­her­ent Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy,” Mr. Bolton said.

Ef­forts to de­fund or with­draw from the U.N. crop up ev­ery few years, but the lat­est out­cry hits at a per­ilous time for the or­ga­ni­za­tion, com­ing amid a re­cent in­ter­na­tional back­lash against global in­sti­tu­tions such as the Euro­pean Union.

Another dif­fer­ence is that the pres­i­dent-elect has joined the U.N. crit­i­cism, promis­ing af­ter the vote on Twit­ter that “things will be dif­fer­ent” in his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“The United Na­tions has such great po­ten­tial but right now it is just a club for peo­ple to get to­gether, talk and have a good time. So sad!” Mr. Trump said in a Mon­day tweet.

Mr. Cruz launched a pe­ti­tion Tues­day en­ti­tled, “No U.S. funds for the U.N. un­til the vote on Is­rael is re­versed.”

“I look for­ward to work­ing with Sen. Gra­ham, and with the in­com­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Trump, to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce or even elim­i­nate U.S. fund­ing of the United Na­tions, and also to se­ri­ously re­con­sider fi­nan­cial sup­port for the na­tions that sup­ported this res­o­lu­tion,” said Mr. Cruz in a state­ment.

“For those who have put your name to this de­spi­ca­ble at­tack on Is­rael, you did so with full knowl­edge of the con­se­quences of your ac­tions,” said Mr. Cruz.

Con­ser­va­tive pun­dits went even fur­ther. “De­stroy the United Na­tions,” said a Tues­day head­line in Resur­gent. Fox News an­a­lyst Charles Krautham­mer rec­om­mended that Mr. Trump raze the U.N.’s New York head­quar­ters, “put his name on it and turn it into con­dos.”

“We ought to get jack­ham­mers, and we ought to jack­ham­mer the whole thing and float it into the East River,” for­mer Ar­kan­sas Gov. Mike Huck­abee said on Fox News.

Other Repub­li­cans saved at least some of their scorn for Mr. Obama. Rep. Tom Cole, Ok­la­homa Repub­li­can, said Tues­day that he was sur­prised by the “pet­ti­ness” in the move.

“I think this was a last in­sult on the way out the door,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morn­ing Joe.” “To do some­thing that you know is de­lib­er­ately at odds with what the in­com­ing pres­i­dent is go­ing to do on a stage this big, I think shows a cer­tain pet­ti­ness that I’m sur­prised to see in Pres­i­dent Obama.”

Frus­tra­tion with the U.N. has built for years over the in­ter­na­tional body’s fre­quent tar­get­ing of Is­rael. In 2016 the U.N. Gen­eral Assem­bly ap­proved 20 anti-Is­rael res­o­lu­tions, as op­posed to one each against Syria, North Korea, Crimea and Iran, ac­cord­ing to the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter.

In its an­nual anti-Semitism re­port, the cen­ter placed the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Fri­day ab­sten­tion at the head of its list, the “Top 10 Worst Global Anti-Semitic/ Anti-Is­rael In­ci­dents,” call­ing it “the most stun­ning” at­tack on the Jewish state.

“It re­versed decades-long US pol­icy of ve­to­ing such diplo­matic moves against the Jewish State,” the cen­ter said.

Even Sa­man­tha Power, U.S. am­bas­sador to the U.N., crit­i­cized the in­ter­na­tional body over Is­rael be­ing “treated dif­fer­ently” than other mem­ber na­tions, say­ing in her Fri­day state­ment that the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil “too of­ten con­tin­ues to be bi­ased against Is­rael.”

“But it is be­cause this res­o­lu­tion re­flects the facts on the ground — and is con­sis­tent with

U.S. pol­icy across Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic ad­min­is­tra­tion through­out the his­tory of the State of Is­rael — that the United States did not veto it,” said Ms. Power.

The harshly worded res­o­lu­tion de­mands that Is­rael cease build­ing set­tle­ments in “oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory and east Jerusalem.”

Said Weekly Stan­dard ed­i­tor Bill Kris­tol on Twit­ter: “Res­o­lu­tion 2334 was in­tended to help in the dele­git­imiza­tion of Is­rael. It could in­stead be a key mo­ment in the dele­git­imiza­tion of the UN.”

Democrats were split on the res­o­lu­tion. Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat, said the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s move “sends a strong mes­sage that the United States still sup­ports a

two-state so­lu­tion.”

“End­ing set­tle­ment ac­tiv­ity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is an ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity if we’re ever to achieve a last­ing peace be­tween Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans,” she said in a state­ment.

But at least a dozen Democrats broke with the White House and blasted the de­ci­sion to let the res­o­lu­tion pass.

“It’s sin­gling out Is­rael when the United Na­tions is made up of na­tions of tyrants that have no democ­racy. It’s just hyp­o­crit­i­cal,” Rep. Eliot L. En­gel, New York Demo­crat, told MSNBC. “And if the United States goes along with it, then what kind of body is the United Na­tions? Why should Is­rael care about any­thing the United Na­tions says when it can’t get a fair shake.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu or­dered the cur­tail­ing with a dozen na­tions that voted in fa­vor of a U.N. res­o­lu­tion de­mand­ing that Is­rael stop build­ing set­tle­ments in “oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory.”

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