Ted Cruz: Cut US funding to UN until reversal of Israel vote

Republican Senator from Texas takes to Twitter, saying he spoke to Netanyahu to send him Hanukka greetings along with the assurance of "strong support in Congress."

December 25, 2016 13:45
2 minute read.
Ted Cruz

Former Republican US presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz speaks during the third night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Texas Senator Ted Cruz called on the US to stymie funding to the United Nations until Friday's vote at the UN Security Council to end Israeli settlement building is reversed.

The Republican politician took to Twitter, saying he had spoken to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to send him Hanukka greetings along with the assurance of "strong support in Congress."

"No US $ for UN until reversed," Cruz wrote in the post.

The vote was able to pass the 15-member council on Friday because the United States broke with a long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power as it had on many previous occasions - a decision that Netanyahu called "shameful."

Cruz's remarks came as an apparent endorsement of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina's plan 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.
US abstains from UN vote to end Israeli settlement building

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 antisemitic 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."

Republican leadership reacted with fury to the Obama administration's decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote, 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.

Trump lamented the passage of the resolution as a "big loss" for Israel that will make it "much harder to negotiate peace" with the Palestinians.

"Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!" Trump wrote on Twitter of the now stagnant Middle East peace process.

Reuters and Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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