Photo Credit: screenshot / MSNBC interview
US Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Ted Cruz (TX), interviewed by MSNBC

Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Thursday announced they will introduce legislation to cut off funding to the United Nations until UN Security Council Resolution 2334(2016) is repealed.

The two senators were uncompromising in their support for Israel, and in their disgust over the hostile behavior towards America’s ally by the Obama administration, as demonstrated by the abstention that allowed the anti-Israel resolution to pass unanimously last month at the UN Security Council.

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“The UN resolution was [Secretary of State John] Kerry and [President Barack] Obama taking a slap at Israel,” tweeted Senator Graham on Thursday. “We’re going to push back.”

The Twittersphere was filled with headlines and tweets about what the plans announced by the two Republican senators.

Their interview with the American MSNBC cable news network came as delegates from 72 countries prepare to travel to Paris for a so-called “peace summit” to come up with more “concrete ideas” on how to force Israel into a final status arrangement with the Palestinian Authority – with or without direct negotiations.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority has been invited to the conference, although PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has been consulted repeatedly by several of the participants over recent months.

But Republican Senators Cruz and Graham say they have Israel’s back. “Last month what we’ve seen President Barack Obama do to Israel I think has been shameful,” Senator Cruz told MSNBC.

“He has struck out repeatedly at Israel, and done real damage. At the United Nations the resolution that the Obama administration should have abstained from, and there are reports they actively orchestrated, was a profoundly anti-Israel resolution. It declares much of Israel illegal and illegitimate.

“Much of Jerusalem it declares is not legitimately part of Israel. It declares the Jewish quarter is not part of Israel. It says the Temple Mount – the holiest site for the Jewish People in Jerusalem – is not legitimately part of Israel.”

Senator Graham added, “The Western Wall.”

Agreeing, Senator Cruz exclaimed, “And the Western Wall! I mean, we all remember the image of Barack Obama wearing a yarmulka, standing in front of the Western Wall. He’s now signed on to the proposition that it is illegal occupied territory.

“That is shameful,” Cruz emphasized, “and in my view, we need to defend not only our friend and ally, the nation of Israel, but also U.S. interests, and so Lindsey and I today are joining and filing legislation that would end all U.S. taxpayer funding for the UN unless and until they reverse this resolution.

“It’s very simple.

“The only way to get their attention – we can give speeches, we can pass resolutions – and the UN is going to ignore what we have to say. But if you cut off their money, that gets their attention. And I think we’ve got real prospects of seeing this thing move through Congress and actually turning this thing around.”

Given the fact that Mr. Kerry leaves for Paris this weekend and there is barely a week to go before Mr. Obama leaves the White House, one wonders about the reaction in the West Wing to Thursday’s announcement on Capitol Hill.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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