(Senate - January 03, 2017)

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[Pages S22-S23]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. MORAN submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
the Committee on Foreign Relations:

                               S. Res. 5

       Whereas Israel is a strategic international partner and 
     democratic ally of the United States;
       Whereas cooperation between Israel and the United States is 
     of great importance, especially amid a troubling security 
     situation in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe;
       Whereas strong relations between the United States and 
     Israel benefit both countries and the prospects for regional 
       Whereas peace between the Israelis and Palestinians remains 
     of strategic interest to the United States;
       Whereas support for Israel and peace between the Israelis 
     and Palestinians have long standing bipartisan support in 
       Whereas a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate 
     in 2016 requested that the President maintain a policy of 
     opposing one-sided United Nations Security Council 
     resolutions targeting Israel;
       Whereas, on December 23, 2016, the President and his 
     delegates at the United Nations departed from congressional 
     directives and past United States policy by declining to use 
     United States veto power during a vote on a United Nations 
     Security Council resolution unfairly targeting Israel;
       Whereas Congress has a constitutional role in determining 
     the laws and foreign policy of the United States; and
       Whereas the commencement of the 115th Congress and the 
     inauguration of a new President create opportunities to 
     improve relations between the United States and Israel: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) urges the President and the international community to 
     join in supporting bilateral talks between the Israelis and 
       (2) expresses support for individuals and organizations 
     working to bring about peace and cooperation between the 
     Israelis and Palestinians;
       (3) opposes the use of the United Nations as a medium to 
     unfairly impose external remedies to challenges between the 
     Israelis and Palestinians;
       (4) objects to the December 2016 abstention and declination 
     to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 by 
     delegates of the United States at the United Nations;
       (5) regrets and seeks to reverse the negative public 
     criticism of Israel by United States diplomats;
       (6) urges the President-elect to adopt a policy of opposing 
     and vetoing if necessary one-sided United Nations Security 
     Council resolutions targeting Israel;
       (7) rejects international efforts to delegitimize Israel's 
     right to exist;
       (8) supports Israel's right to self-defense;
       (9) condemns acts of terrorism and violence targeted at 
     Israeli civilians;
       (10) reiterates that Palestinian political goals will never 
     be achieved through violence; and
       (11) calls on all parties to return to negotiations and 
     without preconditions, as direct discussions remain the best 
     mechanism to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, although the time of this administration is 
short and the inauguration of a new President is now just weeks away, 
the Obama administration isn't coming to a quiet ending. From issuing 
controversial regulations to transferring unprecedented numbers of 
detainees from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, the outgoing 
administration has repeatedly acted in direct opposition to the 
bipartisan will of Congress and to the values of many American people. 
The clearest examples of this are the recent American actions at the 
United Nations Security Council, performed at the expense of Israel, an 
American ally and strategic partner in the Middle East.
  This December, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said:

       Decades of political maneuvering have created a 
     disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and 
     committees against Israel. In many cases, instead of helping 
     the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of 
     the UN to fulfill its role effectively.

  The U.N.'s anti-Israel bias was evident on December 23 when the 
Security Council sought to pass a resolution targeting Israel. American 
representatives abstained from voting on the deliberately anti-Israel 
resolution. The refusal to defend Israel is a departure from 
longstanding bipartisan policy of the United States and, in fact, a 
departure from the standards of the Obama administration.
  Just days later, this decision to abstain was aggravated by comments 
made by Secretary of State Kerry. In a speech that sought to defend the 
Obama administration's diplomacy, the Secretary's one-sided lecture 
further criticized Israel. With so many grave and immediate foreign 
policy challenges concurrently facing the Obama administration and 
facing our country, the Secretary's decision to devote his final days 
at the State Department to criticism of Israel is difficult to 
  The President's party has suffered staggering electoral defeats 
during his time in office. Much of that can be attributed to the 
championing of policies

[[Page S23]]

at odds with much of his own party and the American people at large. 
This case is no different. The Obama administration's decision defies 
the bipartisan directive of 88 Members of this Senate who wrote the 
President on this issue in September of 2016.
  Fortunately, today marks the first day of the 115th Congress. On 
January 20, we will inaugurate a new President. We will have to work 
overtime to correct the direction of these American policies.
  I am committed to working with the incoming administration and both 
Republican and Democratic Members of Congress to make certain the 
United States remains appropriately supportive of Israel. We must 
prevent the United Nations from being further used as a forum for 
unjust persecution of that country. To this effort, I am introducing a 
resolution that recognizes the importance of Israel as a strategic 
ally, reiterates that Congress's bipartisan support for Israel 
continues, and objects to the Obama administration's decision and 
harmful public commentary related to the December 23 U.N. Security 
Council vote.
  The opening of the 115th Congress and the inauguration of a new 
President create opportunities to improve our relations, the 
relationship between the United States and Israel. America's alliance 
with Israel is critical to combating the threat of peace in the Middle 
East and to our own national security. It is my hope we can seize the 
opportunity to better stand by our ally and continue to encourage peace 
and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.
  I believe this resolution is an important step in repairing the 
relations the Obama administration has unnecessarily strained, and I 
hope to have the opportunity to vote on this measure in the Senate in 
the coming weeks.