JERUSALEM, Israel -- Congress is moving swiftly to counter United Nations and Obama administration policies against Israel, even before Friday's inauguration of Donald Trump as president.
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced legislation Wednesday to combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations.
Called the "Countering Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Activities Act," the proposed law would withhold U.S. funding for the U.N. and affiliate agencies until the president certifies that U.N. agencies don't recognize organizations that promote or condone anti-Semitism.
The proposed law is in part a reaction to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to be illegal and recognized to Jewish right to eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
"As I said when the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 2334 (in December) with the United States abstaining, if the U.N. wants to continue to attack Israel and promote anti-Semitism, I will work to see that it does so without U.S. taxpayer funding," Rubio vowed.
"It's time for the United Nations be be held accountable for targeting and singling out Israel while countries that actually threaten the international peace and security--like Russia and China--go unchallenged," he said.
The United States currently funds about 22 percent of the total U.N. budget, about $8 billion annually.
In co-sponsoring the bill, Cotton said, "For too long, the world's worst actors have used the United Nations as a forum to point an accusatory finger at Israel and deflect from their own failings. That will stop only when America leads, stands on principle, and uses its considerable leverage to force true reform at the United Nations."
Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill last week that could cut off U.S. funding to the U.N. until Resolution 2334 is repealed.
Meanwhile, Nikki Haley, President-elect Trump's ambassador-designate to the United Nations, testified at her Senate confirmation hearing that she supports moving the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Haley called the passage of Resolution 2334 a "kick in the gut" against America's closest ally and blasted the Obama administration for allowing it to happen.