President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka attend a campaign event in Washington, DC, in October.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON -- Republican leadership reacted with fury to the Obama administration's decision to abstain from a UN Security Council vote condemning Israel's settlement enterprise on Friday, vowing to reverse his policy gains and punish the UN for repeatedly targeting the Jewish state.
President-elect Donald Trump said on Twitter that things would change after he takes office next month, and House Speaker Paul Ryan called the vote an "absolutely shameful" blow to peace.
"Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel," Ryan said in a statement.
Lindsey Graham threatened to campaign for a bipartisan consensus in Congress that would punish those who pushed for the resolution with a cut in US aid— as well as the UN itself, which relies on generous congressional appropriations.
Already, Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and James Lankford of Oklahoma signaled support for Graham's initiative, which an Obama administration official said on Friday would only harm US interests if pursued.
"I anticipate this vote will create a backlash in Congress against the United Nations," Graham said. "The organization is increasingly viewed as anti-Semitic and seems to have lost all sense of proportionality. I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East."