- Republican lawmakers in both chambers of the US Congress are launching a motion to formally disapprove the recent United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned "illegal" Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories.
The move highlights the Zionist lobby’s powerful influence on Capitol Hill and is a reminder of the deep support Israel has in an otherwise sharply divided Congress.
Senator Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, said Friday he will introduce a resolution in the Senate on Tuesday expressing support for Israel and disapproving the UN resolution.
“Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has made a series of blatantly misguided choices when it comes to working with our strongest ally in the Middle East,” Moran said in a statement.
Moran said that he is "committed to working with both Republicans and Democrats to make sure we stand with Israel and that the United Nations cannot be used as a forum to create policies that hurt our nation and its allies.”
Senator Jerry Moran (file photo)
Separately, Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican from Florida, said Friday he was offering a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning President Barack Obama and the UN "for their dangerous anti-Israel actions."
It is unclear when the Senate or House resolutions could get a vote.
Republican lawmakers are also threatening to introduce legislation next year to cut off American funding for the UN, though the measure would likely face an uphill battle to get passed.
The Obama administration allowed the UN resolution to pass last week by refusing to veto it, defying extraordinary pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and incoming US President Donald Trump.
In this image released bu the UN, Samantha Power, US permanent representative to the UN, addresses the Security Council after the December 23, 2016 vote on Israeli settlements. (Photo by AFP)
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech at the State Department to defend Washington's abstention at the UN Security Council, speaking with a clarity and harshness almost never heard from US diplomats when discussing Israel.
Kerry criticized Netanyahu’s cabinet as the “most right-wing coalition in Israeli history,” and warned that the rapid expansion of settlements was “leading toward one state and perpetual occupation.”
“Friends need to tell each other the hard truths and friendships require mutual respect,” the outgoing secretary of state said.
Netanyahu and Trump have both said they would ignore the new UN resolution.