Jewish business leaders to lobby for cut to UN funding

The bill, called the Safeguard Israel Act, aims to cut off funding to the United Nations until the president certifies to Congress that the controversial UNSCR 2334 has been repealed.

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February 15, 2017 06:07
2 minute read.
The United Nations headquarters

The United Nations headquarters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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NEW YORK – As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, a delegation of Jewish business and communal leaders will lobby Congress to defund US allocations for the United Nations, as stated in a bill proposed recently by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

The bill, called the Safeguard Israel Act, aims to cut off funding to the United Nations until the president certifies to Congress that the controversial United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement activity when it was passed in December, has been repealed.

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In addition, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a bipartisan resolution objecting to Resolution 2334.

Members of Wednesday’s delegation, who are part of the “US-Israel Security Alliance,” will meet with members of the Senate who have been supportive of these legislative efforts, including Joni Ernst (R-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bill Nelson (D-NY), Margaret Hassan (D-NH) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss more tangible ways in which the UN could be encouraged to pursue a direction that would not undermine Israel and her ability to negotiate peace,” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group and founder of the US-Israel Security Alliance, said before leaving for Washington.

“All indicators seem to suggest that the Trump administration is formulating its relationship with the State of Israel with a fresh perspective and an open-minded attitude,” he observed.

“While it’s too premature to draw conclusions – as the devil is in the details – the administration seems to be modifying its campaign rhetoric vis a vis its policies regarding the hot-button issues, which is understandable as it needs to consider geopolitical realities,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “Yet at the UN the Trump administration is taking a hard-line stance in ensuring that Israel is not isolated and seems to be willing to flex its muscles in that regard.”

According to Goldstar Healthcare CEO Sol Goldner, the amount of funds allocated to the UN by the United States is excessive and “there are more constructive ways this allocation could be put to use.

“This is such an important mission, because there’s so much anxiety and disappointment in the Jewish community since the UN vote,” Goldner added. “It is absolutely necessary to keep pressure on our elected officials to reverse the discriminatory policies of the UN.US -Israel Security Alliance co-chair and chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Commission Peter Rebenwurzel added that, “The senators will hopefully put enough pressure on the UN to have an open ear. With Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio there, it should help. They are outspoken and we are listening to them, and they are listening to us.”

The Alliance describes itself as “a bi-partisan ad-hoc committee comprised of prominent civic, business and communal leaders representing intersectional views” that is dedicated to the US-Israel relationship. It has already led several similar missions.

In June 2016 they lobbied Congress to appropriate $600 million for Israel’s missile defense systems, and in September 2017 they went to Washington to show support for Congressmen who are in the forefront of writing legislation to counter the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement.

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