|Congressman Bob Goodlatteâ€™s Weekly Column: January 6, 2017|
The United States Must Support Israel
|By Congressman Bob Goodlatte|
Washington, DC (Jan. 7, 2017) -
Just 11 minutes â€“ that is all the time it took for the United States to recognize Israel after they formally declared independence in 1948. Since then, the United States and Israel have had a strong relationship based on shared democratic values and common security interests. In a part of the world where some would seek to destroy our way of life, Israel stands strong as one of our greatest allies. Thatâ€™s why it is so important to preserve and protect this relationship between our nations. Unfortunately, recent steps by the Obama Administration left our friends high and dry when they needed us.
Late last month, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334, an extremely one-sided resolution biased against Israel. Instead of vetoing the resolution and preventing it from passing, under the direction of the Obama Administration, the United States abstained from voting, allowing approval of the resolution. This strategy represents a significant break with longstanding U.S. policy to protect Israel from biased resolutions of this nature. Additionally, the failure of the United States to veto the resolution expressly ignores a measure passed unanimously by the House of Representatives in December calling on the Administration to continue the policy of opposing one-sided, anti-Israel UN resolutions.
Standing idly by while this resolution was approved is a completely unacceptable move by the Obama Administration. Not only does the United Statesâ€™ inaction harm Israel, but it also hurts prospects for peace in the tumultuous region. While the one-sided resolution threatens potential sanctions against Israel, it does nothing to condemn the Palestinian Authorityâ€™s questionable actions and â€śpay to slayâ€ť scheme that includes payments to the families of individuals who commit terrorism or violence against Israelis â€“ an amount that reportedly reached $300 million in 2016.
Israel, and the rest of the world, must know that the United States stands by our allies. In response, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 11 just days ago, a measure rejecting the UN resolution and calling for its repeal. This measure, which passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 342-80, reasserts the United Statesâ€™ support for Israel and the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One-sided policies designed to undermine the relationship between the U.S. and Israel and create distance between the two are only obstacles to peace. Productive negotiations are key to a real and lasting peace in the region, a two-state solution recognizing Israelâ€™s right to exist, and the future economic prosperity of the Palestinian people. I am hopeful that the incoming Administration will take a strong stand in support of our ally, Israel, and stop the harmful impacts of the UNâ€™s resolution. There is no question that the U.S. must support Israel, and I will keep working to ensure that the United States stands firm.