January 6, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA Praises Congress Condemning UNSC Resolution 2334 and Kerry Speech

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The ZOA praises the many U.S. Senators and Representatives who condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334; the Obama administration’s involvement in the resolution’s passage; and/or U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s December 28th anti-Israel speech.  (See ZOA: Kerry’s Speech Ignored the Facts and Endangers Israel’s Safety and Security,” Dec. 28, 2016.  Kerry’s speech “doubled down” on UNSC 2334, and promoted additional anti-Israel policies that endanger innocent Israeli civilians’ safety, including lifting Israel’s weapons blockade on Gaza and security checkpoints.)    ZOA also praises all those Congresspersons who pledged to take strong action, including cutting off U.S. funding to the UN, the Palestinian Authority and nations that voted for UNSC 2334.

Here are a few examples of these praiseworthy bi-partisan Congresspersons’ statements committing to action (in alphabetical order):

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR):  The ZOA praises Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) for his statements condemning UNSC 2334 and Kerry’s December 28th anti-Israel speech.  Immediately following UNSC Res. 2334’s passage, Sen. Cotton said:

We appreciate every single Congressperson who condemned UNSC Res. 2334 and Kerry’s speech, and who has committed to action, or will take action to reverse the horrendous anti-Israel resolution. 

President Obama is personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution. His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it.  This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.  This resolution hurts the prospects for a secure and just peace by targeting Israel for building homes in Jerusalem, its own capital, while not specifically addressing Palestinian incitement of and financial support for terrorism. . . . As a Security Council resolution with the imprimatur of the United States, this resolution surpasses even the infamous “Zionism is Racism” General Assembly resolution in its irrational obsession with the Jewish state. The United States provides considerable financial assistance to the United Nations and Security Council members. The UN and nations supporting this resolution have now imperiled all forms of U.S. assistance. I look forward to working with President-elect Trump and members of both parties in Congress to decide what the consequences for this action will be.”   (“Cotton Condemns Obama For Failing To Veto Anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution,” Dec. 23, 2016.)

Also, after Kerry’s speech, Senator Cotton appropriately blasted the Obama administration on Fox News Sunday, and explained that “settlements” (a euphemism for Jewish communities, towns and cities) are not the problem; the reason for lack of peace is the Palestinian-Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.  Here is the transcript: 

FOX NEWS HOST (Shannon Bream): “. . . You [Senator Cotton] said this . . . about the U.N. vote, “This cowardly disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.” . . .”

SEN. COTTON: “Well, I think the last week has been a fitting punctuation mark on eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.  First he abstained at the United Nations in the same way he abstained from leadership in the world for eight years.  And second, he was much harsher on his allies than his adversaries. 

At root, the problem that we face in the Holy Land is not Israelites building new neighborhoods around Jerusalem.  It’s the Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in the Holy Land.  Until they do that, there won’t be a peace agreement between the two peoples.” 

FOX NEWS HOST: “Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Secretary Kerry’s speech and he made a very specific allegation.  Here’s a bit of what he said.” 

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU (on video clip): “We have it on absolutely incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council.  We’ll share that information with the incoming administration.  Some of it is sensitive.  It’s all true.” 

FOX NEWS HOST: “But you said that President Obama is personally responsible for that U.N. resolution.  Quote, “His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote.” Are you privy to evidence?  What do you base that claim on?” 

SEN. COTTON: “No, I’m not privy to what Prime Minister Netanyahu is speaking about, but anyone with an ounce of common sense knows how the real world works and knows how the United Nations Security Council works.  Senegal and Malaysia, some of the countries that sponsor this resolution, don’t call the shots there.  If Barack Obama and John Kerry and Samantha Power hadn’t been speaking for months about the prospect of this resolution and had not been creating a climate inside the Security Council to let it come forward without firmly saying we will veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolution, no country would have brought that resolution forward. It only could have been brought forward and passed with explicit United States coordination with other members of the Security Council.”   (“Cotton Talks US-Israel Relations,Fox News Sunday transcript, Jan. 1, 2017.)

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX): ZOA praises Senator Cruz for his prompt commitment to cut off UN funding to obtain reversal of UNSC 2234.  Senator Cruz tweeted:

Spoke w/ Israeli PM @netanyahu tonight to wish him Happy Chanukah & assure him of strong support in Congress. No US $ for UN until reversed.”  (✔@tedcruz  6:35 PM – 24 Dec 2016.)

Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY):  ZOA praises Eliot Engel for criticizing UNSC 2234 and Kerry’s speech, and for stating that he will work with Trump administration to attempt to undo the damage.  Here are excerpts from Cong. Engel’s Fox News appearance:

Cong. Engel:  “[W]hat Secretary Kerry did was just beat up on Israel in a disproportionate way [and] sort of gloss over the terrorism that the Palestinians have used throughout these years.  [He] neglects the fact that Israel picked up and left Gaza, left all the settlements there.  Did they get peace for that?  No, they got terrorism. . . . The United Nations [is a place] where Israel can’t get a fair shake.  We joined the crowd beating up on Israel.  It’s really disingenuous to say we abstained.  We abstained knowing full well what that abstention meant. It meant that the resolution would pass. . . .”

Fox News Host: “Can you work with President-elect Trump, who says he will be a staunch ally of Israel?”

Cong. Engel:   I will work with anyone to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.  . . . If President Trump is working with us on Israel, I’m perfectly happy to work with the President of the United States. . . . “By the way, I didn’t hear very much from John Kerry about what the Palestinians need to do.”

(“Top Dems Turn on Kerry Over Israel Speech,” Fox News, Dec. 29, 2016.)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)ZOA praises Senator Graham for stating that he will lead efforts to defund the UN and the nations that backed UNSC 2334Senator Graham stated:

 “This provocative action by the United Nations is an outrage and must be dealt with sternly and forcefully. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I oversee the United States assistance to the United Nations.  The United States is currently responsible for approximately 22 percent of the United Nations total budget. If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations.  In addition, any nation which backs this resolution and receives assistance from the United States will put that assistance in jeopardy.  There is a reason the United States has long opposed these type efforts directed at Israel — the only way to achieve a lasting peace by the parties negotiating directly and not using the United Nations as a blunt instrument against Israel.”  (“Graham on United Nations Resolution on Israeli Settlements,” Dec. 23, 2016.)

Following Kerry’s speech, Senator Graham also explained that Hamas (which is part of the PA government) makes peace impossible, saying:  “Almost forty percent of the Palestinian population lives under the control of Hamas – one of the most vicious terrorist groups on the planet.  I wish Secretary Kerry and President Obama would stop pushing Israel to negotiate against themselves. The only way the peace process can be restarted is for the Palestinians to hold elections and be governed by a single entity that rejects terrorism. That is not the current situation and until that day arrives, pushing Israel to restart the peace process is folly.”  (“Graham Reacts to Secretary Kerry’s Remarks on the Path to Middle East Peace,” Dec. 28 2016.)

Senator James Lankford (R-Okla):   ZOA praises Senator Lankford for “retweeting” and agreeing with Senator Lindsey Grahan’s plan to cut UN funding.   In his retweet, Senator Lankford stated: “As a member of the Foreign Ops Subcmte on Approps, I agree. UN funding should be up for discussion if the anti #Israel resolution is approved.”  (@SenatorLankford 8:57 AM – 23 Dec 2016)

Senator Lankford also tweeted: “Anti #Israel resolutions like the one passed today at the #UNSC do nothing but hurt the prospects for peace in the region.”  (‏@SenatorLankford  12:18 p.m. – 23 Dec 2016)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla): ZOA praises Senator Rubio for also promptly stating that he will work to assure that U.S. dollars do not fund anti-Israel efforts.  Sen. Rubio stated:  

With yesterday’s abstention, President Obama has aided and abetted radical, anti-Semitic forces at the U.N. and cemented his legacy as the most anti-Israel U.S. president in history . . . I intend to work with the incoming administration to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars do not continue to fund efforts to isolate the Jewish state of Israel.”(“Rubio: President Obama Cements Legacy as Most Anti-Israel U.S. President in History,” Dec. 24, 2017.)

ZOA regrets that this is an incomplete list.  We appreciate every single Congressperson who condemned UNSC Res. 2334 and Kerry’s speech, and who has committed to action, or will take action to reverse the horrendous anti-Israel resolution.