Graham and Cruz Introduce Resolution to End Taxpayer Funding of UN--Unless...

Susan Jones | January 12, 2017 | 10:34am EST
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power raises her hand to abstain as the Security Council adopts resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016. (AP Photo, File)

( - Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced on Thursday they are introducing a resolution to end all U.S. taxpayer funding for the United Nations "unless and until" the U.N. reverses a measure condemning Israel.

U.N. resolution 2334 is the first one condemning Israeli settlements in disputed territories to have been adopted by the Security Council in more than three decades. The U.N. passed the resolution just before Christmas, after the Obama administration abstained, rather than use its veto power to kill it.

(As reported earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel has "unequivocal evidence" that the anti-Israel Security Council resolution was orchestrated by the Obama administration. "There’s no question whatsoever about that – none whatsoever,” Netanyahu told a visiting AIPAC delegation. The Obama administration denies it.)

"What brings us together today is an issue that that I think really unites -- it unites Republicans, but it ought to unite Democrats, it does unite Americans -- and that's standing with Israel," Cruz said in a joint appearance with Graham on "Fox and Friends."

"If you look at the last month, what Barack Obama has done, I think it has been nothing short of shameful. It has been striking out against Israel, really showing his true beliefs. And the United Nations, with his acquiescence if not active encouragement, passed a rabidly anti-Israel resolution."

Cruz told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the U.N. resolution declares much of Israel illegal and illegitimate; it declares much of Jerusalem to be not part of Israel; it even declares that the Jewish Quarter and the Temple Mount -- the holiest site for the Jewish people -- are not part of Israel.

A few months before he was elected president, Barack Obama placed a note in the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City, in July 2008. (AP File Photo)

"And the Western Wall!" Cruz said. "We all remember the image of Barack Obama wearing a yarmulke, standing in front of the Western Wall. He's now signed onto the proposition that that is illegal, occupied territory. That is shameful! And in my view, we need to act to defend, not only our friend and ally the nation of Israel, but also U.S. interests."

Graham told MSNBC that 22 percent of the money used to fund the U.N. comes from the American taxpayer.

"I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Mideast, takes the settlement issue and says that's the most important and only issue in terms of an impediment to peace."

Graham blamed John Kerry and Obama for "taking a slap at Israel."  

"I think most Americans believe that the United Nations has become more anti-Semitic, more anti-Israeli, and I'm a big internationalist, but we're going to stop the money until we get this fixed."

Cruz said cutting off U.S. funding is the only effective path forward: "The only way to get their attention -- we can give speeches, we can pass resolutions and the UN is going to ignore what we say; but if you cut off their money, that gets their attention, and I think we've real prospects of seeing this thing move through Congress and actually turning this thing around."

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