As you are aware, on December 23rd of last year, the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted in favor of Resolution 2334. Although not part of the text of the Resolution, implementation of the ideas behind this motion could make much of biblical Israel, including the holy sites in Jerusalem, off limits to Jews and probably to Christians as well. Given that the PA has stated there will be no Jews in a Palestinian State, and that they have already purged the vast majority of their Christian population from PA and Hamas-controlled territories, this is a very real threat.
The United States, in a reversal of decades-long policy to veto such one-sided resolutions targeted at delegitimizing Israel, abstained that day, permitting the passage of 2334, this anti-Semitic and anti-Christian resolution.
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed H.Res.11, codifying strong support and friendship between the United States and Israel through condemnation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, a recent, extreme and dangerous anti-Israel motion. The House Resolution repudiates 2334 and makes clear that a durable and sustainable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will only come through direct bilateral negotiations, not one-sided anti-Israel UN resolutions. Sens. Rubio (R-FL) and Cardin (D-MD) are expected to introduce parallel legislation in the Senate.
On Tuesday, Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO5) introduced binding legislation against the anti-Israel UNSCR 2334. Lamborn’s bill goes further by clearly establishing that the Security Council resolution is null and void under US law.
NORPAC and its leadership have been working with other concerned leaders around the country to mitigate the effects of Resolution 2334. More importantly, it was our belief that the Kerry Speech on December 28th of last year, the upcoming Paris Conference scheduled for January 15th, and scheduled UNSC meeting on January 17th, was a cascade of events in which a pre-1967 partition plan would be drawn and a Palestinian State declared at the UN and approved by the Security Council.
Three officers of the American Jewish Congress, also of NORPAC – Jack Rosen, Dr. Munr Kazmir, and Ben Chouake – decided to go together to DC on January 3rd, the swearing-in day, and met with many Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to work on stopping the administration from implementing such a plan during its final days in office.
We spoke personally with the Senators we met at swearing-in ceremonies including Senators Bennet (D-CO), Wyden (D-OR), Gillibrand (D-NY), Warner (D-VA), and Stabenow (D-MI), and arranged for personal meetings in the offices of 9 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including Chairman Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Cardin (D-MD), that day. We discussed actionable items to stop the UNSC from its untoward activity.
Resolutions, while quick and helpful, are largely ignored by the administration. Some of the ideas discussed as a response to the last UNSC resolution would be:
Immediately moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem;
Cutting discretionary spending at the UN (currently at 5 of 8 billion a year in America’s tab there);
Hold a Senate Hearing to look into the why and how of the American support and participation in this UNSC resolution;
Decreasing or halting funding to countries like Senegal, which voted for the UNSC Resolution, and having the Senate members express to the other UNSC members their displeasure at the last vote (which would mean the upcoming one)
My penultimate meeting that day was with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He suggested to call members of the Democratic Caucus who were meeting with the President on the Affordable Care Act the following day, and he would also follow suit, to get a clear answer on the administration’s intentions on this matter until the end of the term.
We followed the the suggestion of Senator Menendez, but unfortunately the meeting with President Obama and the Democratic Congressional Caucus did not allow for those questions and answers.
Fortunately, on January 5th, Secretary Kerry had a meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and both Senator Menendez and other Members pressed him on this issue. Senator Menendez was kind enough to call me after the meeting to inform me that Secretary Kerry clearly stated to the Committee that they do not believe the Paris Conference will amount to much on the Israel-PA issue, and that it is the intention of the United States to Veto any UNSC resolutions unfavorable to Israel that comes from the summit. When asked if that was the sentiment of the President as well, Secretary Kerry confirmed that it was.
This pledge from the Secretary of State is welcome news. We expect to continue to keep up our work to ensure, with Hashem’s blessing, that we are successful in thwarting further damage to Israel and the Peace Process in the coming weeks. We are only cautiously optimistic because this discussion was omitted on the State Department Press release on the closed meeting. We are grateful to Senator Menendez and others who have taken a lead role on stopping untoward Resolutions at the UNSC.
As we have stated in past emails, the last weeks of an administration
are fraught with peril. We thank everyone for their hard work, their confidence, and ask them to continue their prayers.
Ben Chouake, MD (Dr. Ben)
NORPAC National President