Congressional Republicans are set to mark the first day of the 115th Congress with a resolution condemning the Obama administration-approved U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israel. A Dec. 23 U.N. resolution castigated Israel for “settlement” activity and removed Israel’s claim from its capital city, Jerusalem. Having veto power in the Security Council, Team Obama could have voted to quash the resolution, but instead abstained, effectively sealing its passage.
The U.N. resolution is just the latest coming from an organization that devotes much of its time toward demonizing America and its allies, and empowering despotic regimes.
The United States contributes about $3 billion a year to the U.N., accounting for almost a quarter of the organization’s annual budget.
The question remains: Are congressional Republicans going to vote on a resolution that does effectively nothing to change the status quo at the U.N., and simply call it a day thereafter? Instead, Congress should attempt to fundamentally reform the agency and see real benefits for America and its allies through a targeted defunding effort.
If Congress won’t defund the U.N. in its entirety, they should, at the very least, cut off the support of its most cancerous institutions.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees of the Near East (UNRWA) claims to be a humanitarian aid organization for Palestinian “refugees.” In reality, it is a militantly anti-Israel organization that has embedded itself with Hamas terrorists. The group has been caught several times with rocket arsenals at its U.S.-funded schools.
UNRWA-owned construction materials have been found in Hamas terror tunnels, which are used to infiltrate Israel and kill innocent civilians. Over the past two years, Hamas has developed a strong, working relationship with ISIS, which continues its global terror campaign. In 2015, the U.S. contributed $380 million in UNRWA funding, which accounted for over 30 percent of the organization’s annual budget.
Earlier this year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution denying Jewish and Christian claims to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The resolution claimed that only Islam had claims to the holy territory.
Since 2011, the United States has withdrawn funding from the organization. But Secretary of State John Kerry has said he is “determined to restore funding” to the anti-American institution, and Congress must keep their eyes on any last-day moves by the Obama administration in pursuing this goal. UNESCO says that the United State “owes” more than $300 million to them.
The United States is the top donor to the U.N. Human Rights Council, having contributed over $16 million to the institution in 2015. The U.N. agency is supposed to promote human rights worldwide, but instead, its membership consists of tyrannical regimes which use their status on the council to bury their human rights violations back home.
Several dictatorial nations maintain membership on the council, including China, Cuba, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, to name a few. The chairman of the council, Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Hassan Trad, hails from a country where women have very few rights and are treated as subordinates to men.
The U.N.’s news service showcased its hyper-partisan ideology in late September when it tweeted out a link to a campaign calling for voters to defeat now-President-elect Donald Trump in the November elections. The tweet was later removed, but with no apology or explanation.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.