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January 6, 2017 2:37 pm

Israeli Leaders, US Jewish Groups Praise House of Representatives’ Condemnation of Anti-Settlement UN Security Council Resolution

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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The US Capitol building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The US Capitol building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli leaders and US Jewish groups warmly welcomed the passage of a motion by the House of Representatives on Thursday that expressed the legislative body’s opposition to the anti-settlement resolution that was recently passed by the UN Security Council due to the abstention of the outgoing Obama administration.

The non-binding House resolution was approved by an overall 342-80 total. Among Republican House members, the vote was 233-4, while Democrats backed the motion by a 109-76 margin.

“Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement posted on his Facebook page. “They voted to either repeal the resolution at the UN or change it — and that’s exactly what we intend to do. I want to thank the US House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people. Thank you, America. Thank you, Congress.”

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The Jewish state’s UN envoy Danny Danon said in a statement that the House’s move was a “testament to the bipartisan support for the State of Israel in the United States.  Leaders from both parties proved once again that the US-Israel alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also on shared values.”

“I look forward to working with the new American administration to end the bias against Israel at the UN and to usher in a new era of accountability in the parliament of nations,” Danon went on to say.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) said it “applauded” the House for its adoption of the motion, as did the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Rabbi Joel Meyers — chair of the US branch of the WJC — stated, “We thank Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) for introducing H.Res.11 and the US House of Representatives for passing it.  H. Res. 11 calls for UNSC 2334 to be repealed or significantly changed. Peace cannot be made via UN resolutions, especially those that ignore the responsibility of the Palestinians for continuing to engage in violence and incitement to hatred of Israel, or those that delegitimize the Jewish people’s ancient and historic connection to the land of Israel.”

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein stated, “We appreciate every single congressperson who condemned UNSC Res. 2334 and [US Secretary of State John] Kerry’s speech, and who has committed to action to reverse the horrendous anti-Israel resolution.”

Nathan Diament — the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy — welcomed the House’s “clear bipartisan rejection of the UN Security Council’s latest calumny against Israel.”

Furthermore, Diament called the House’s move a “repudiation of the Obama administration’s failure to veto UNSC Resolution 2334 as it should have.”

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks stated that the House vote was “an important first step to reversing the damage caused by President [Barack] Obama’s actions toward Israel, most recently by not defending Israel at the United Nations. Now, President-elect [Donald] Trump and the GOP majorities in Congress mark a new direction, one of rebuilding the important bonds between the two countries.”

“The time has come to reevaluate US funding of the UN and let them know we will not stand by their anti-Israel policies,” Brooks declared.

In a statement, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Chair Marvin D. Nathan and CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt hailed the House for rejecting “the biased UN Security Council Resolution and for affirming its commitment to ensure that all final status Israeli-Palestinian issues, including settlements, are resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”

Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — stated, “We hope that this overwhelming bipartisan vote will send a message to the organizers of next week’s conference on the Middle East in Paris, not to build on the UN, dangerous, one-sided, anti-Israel fiasco. We look forward to January 20th when the new president, Donald Trump, can begin to undo the damage done by his predecessor by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman stated, “We commend the US House of Representatives for its unwavering support of the Jewish state. The United Nations’ bias toward Israel is both unfounded and incessant, and this resolution was yet another example of that. The American abstention on the UN vote, which enabled the resolution to pass, was simply unacceptable.”

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement on Wednesday, “We applaud Congress’ efforts to denounce this one-sided, anti-Israel resolution that will only push the prospects of peace further from realization. A strong message from the leaders and members of the United States Congress will show the world that the American people stand with Israel and support direct negotiations as the only path to true peace…We welcome the fact that key Republican and Democratic leaders in both [the House and Senate] have endorsed the legislation. It again demonstrates that support for Israel is strongly bipartisan and will remain so in the new Congress.”

A similar motion to the one backed by the House on Thursday was introduced earlier this week in the Senate by Republicans Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida and Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York and Ben Cardin of Maryland.

Watch Netanyahu’s statement below:

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