The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure on Thursday objecting to last month’s anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution.
House Resolution 11, which passed 342-80, condemned Security Council Resolution 2334, which called Israel’s activities in eastern Jerusalem and other areas captured in 1967 “a flagrant violation under international law.” The House resolution stated that the world body’s approval of such language “effectively lends legitimacy to efforts by the Palestinian Authority to impose its own solution through international organizations,” and served as “an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.” (The United States could have vetoed the UN resolution, but the Obama administration chose instead to abstain).
HR 11 was sponsored by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), both parties’ leaders on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution had 105 co-sponsors, including more than 30 Democrats.
Many Democrats were harshly critical of the Obama administration’s decision. After the UN vote, Engel blasted the resolution, saying that it “places the blame for the current impasse in negotiations entirely on Israel, asking nothing of the Palestinians. This offends me as someone who has been a firm believer in the two-state solution. I hope that in my lifetime, we will come to see two states for two peoples. However, this resolution sets back this dream. A sustainable solution to the conflict will only come from direct negotiations between the two parties.”
Other top Democratic lawmakers to critique the resolution included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D – Md.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Ben Cardin (D – Md.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Cardin, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), introduced a resolution in the Senate on Wednesday that largely mirrored the House’s language. Cardin asserted in a statement introducing his measure that “going forward, Congress will take action against efforts at the UN or beyond that use Resolution 2334 to target Israel.”
[Photo: C-Span ]