This Congress Is Committed to Israel
The following column by U.S. Representative Roger Williams originally appeared in Townhall:
Last Thursday evening 342 out of the 435 total Members of the House of Representatives objected to last month’s United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel. In a chamber where the majority party rules, the vote was about as bipartisan as it gets.
H.Res.11 was supported by most Democrats and all but four Republicans.
But the House vote wasn’t entirely prompted by the anti-Israel resolution in the UN. Similar resolutions have been authored before. The House vote was prompted by the Obama Administration’s refusal to use its veto power to shoot down the UN resolution– thereby making it the first UN adopted measure critical of Israeli settlements in 36 years.
This UN resolution failed to disapprove, let alone even mention, decades of unprovoked attacks by Palestinians and their terrorist organization, Hamas.
This UN resolution failed to put into context that Israel is the only Jewish State, and it is fighting for survival every single day in a neighborhood of nations that want to see it disappear.
This UN resolution will be used to justify the actions of those who want to see Israel wiped off the map. It will most certainly be used to encourage future attacks on innocent Israelis. This UN resolution will further delay the path to peace.
There is no question that U.S. / Israel relations have taken a low point under President Obama. This was probably made most obvious to the public when an unnamed senior Obama Administration official called Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickensh*t” during an interview with The Atlantic. Many have called the administration’s UN abstention President Obama’s final parting shot at Israel.
As I said in the House chamber two years ago before we welcomed the prime minister to address a joint session of Congress, “For those who do not believe in the United States’ moral obligation to protect Israel, I remind them about the United States’ strategic obligation.”
We have many security interests in the Middle East. This is just a reality. We cannot simply turn our heads and pretend the region doesn’t exist. Our survival is supported by Israel’s survival. But the Obama Administration will be remembered for its foreign policy blunders, not its achievements.
The Obama Administration will be remembered for drawing its unenforced redlines in Syria, allowing Russia to gobble up a portion of Ukraine and identifying ISIS as an insignificant threat. And although we can look forward to a new president in the White House in two weeks, the new Congress is already here.
Before Thursday’s House vote, lawmakers from both parties went on record to remind their colleagues that Israel is a friend of the United States and a partner in a very dangerous part of the world.
Although the vote was for the most part symbolic, it illustrates one significant reality: that this Congress is committed to Israel, one of our greatest allies in the world.