Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked members of the House of Representatives Friday afternoon for their support of his country in the wake of the United Nations Security Council resolution vote last December that condemned Israel for its construction of settlements and denounced the White House’s abstention vote on the matter.
“After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN, the US House of Representatives voted yesterday resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution,” Netanyahu said.
He went on to say, “Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory. They voted to either repeal the resolution at the UN or change it — and that’s exactly what we intend to do… I want to thank the US House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people. Thank you, America. Thank you, Congress.”
On Thursday the House passed an overwhelmingly bipartisan resolution (342-80) reprimanding UN Resolution 2334 and called on the White House to veto future UN Security Council provisions that are perceived as anti-Israel. A majority of Democrats, 109, voted for the resolution and 76 Democrats voted against it. Four Democrats voted present. Every Republican except four members voted for the resolution.
“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 resolution states. The measure also demands the U.N. repeal or makes changes to the resolution it passed.
“We are condemning what happened because we think it’s unfair and unjust,” said New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during the debate on the floor prior the vote. “Throughout its entire history, the state of Israel has never gotten a fair shake from the United Nations.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition lauded the measure passed by the House.
“Today’s vote was an important first step to reversing the damage caused by President Obama’s actions toward Israel, most recently by not defending Israel at the United Nations. Now, President-elect Trump and the GOP majorities in Congress mark a new direction, one of rebuilding the important bonds between the two countries,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement.
Brooks added, “The overwhelming support for this resolution shows that there is a strong commitment to fighting back against the U.N.’s persistent targeting of Israel. As President-elect Trump has signaled, the time has come to reevaluate U.S. funding of the U.N. and let them know we will not stand by their anti-Israel policies.”
The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 to rebuke Israel for its settlements, against opposition from Netanyahu as well as President-elect Donald Trump. Both called on the United States to use its veto.
Although the incoming president will typically defer to the sitting president on policy decisions during the transition period, Trump’s decided to speak out at the request of the Israelis.