There is no issue that unites Republicans, divides Democrats, and is easier to message to the American people more than cutting funding to the U.N. and the PLO.
Likewise, there is no better time to harness momentum for those goals and permanently refocus our Middle East priorities than now, as we stand at the cusp of a new GOP government. Yet, Republican leaders are not only shirking from this slam dunk initiative, but they are also giving Democrats cover — a loin cloth — for their duplicity on the issue of Israel.
Despite the sleepy news cycle of the holiday season, the U.N.’s assault on Israel captured the rage of Americans across the country. Here we are suffering from the effects of ubiquitous global jihad, and they want to focus on Jews building some homes in land originally designated and then recaptured (in a defensive war) for the only Jewish state in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the “Palestinians,” comprised of Fatah and Hamas, continue to pursue jihad and elect terrorists as their leaders.
With Trump headed to the White House, Republicans have the public support and the political power to finally right the drifting ship of our Middle East policy and defund the U.N. and PLO terrorists. Conservative members were hoping to pass legislation doing just that.
Instead, House leadership plans to vote on a vacuous resolution objecting to U.N. Resolution 2334 and reaffirming our commitment to “the two-state solution” — a myopic pink unicorn that stands contrary to our national interests, yet has become a religion among the foreign policy establishment.
It would be one thing if this “bipartisan resolution” was the beginning of a broader effort to defund the bad actors and finally move away from the two-state solution nonsense. But there is no evidence leadership plans to move anything meaningful to the House and Senate floors. Consequently, not only does this resolution fail to change policy in a meaningful way, but it also serves as loin cloth legislation to bail out Democrats who are on the wrong side of the American people on this issue.
The resolution (H.Res. 11) — sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, R-Calif., an extremely weak leader on foreign policy — references “the two-state solution” on four occasions. It seems to raise concerns only about creating an Arab “Palestinian” state in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall but not the rest of Judea and Samaria. Also, it calls on our government to “work to facilitate serious, direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions toward a sustainable peace agreement.”
Really? Is this our position as Republicans? Do we not desire to strive for something different than the failed Oslo Accords promoted by Bill Clinton? And with whom exactly are we to “facilitate” negotiations given that the PLO is a terrorist group, pursuant to current law — a law, which Clinton suspended but was never repealed?
Indeed, aside from the Western Wall and a tiny area in Jerusalem, there is no difference between the blueprint laid out in this resolution and John Kerry’s plan.
Clearly, the resolution was drafted by Ranking Member Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who is the de facto chairman of the committee, and was designed to get approval from Democrats. Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is bragging about his support for this resolution. This is reminiscent of when Republicans passed the Corker-Cardin loin cloth bill on Iran, which provided the veneer of congressional oversight of the Iran deal, thereby giving Democrats much-needed cover, but in fact codified Obama’s unilateral execution of a treaty into law.
It’s never worth pursuing bipartisan support unless the bill will actually further a credible agenda in a meaningful way; otherwise, it just gratuitously gives cover to two-faced “pro-Israel” Democrats. In this case, the resolution codifies a wrongheaded foreign policy.
To his credit, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa offered an amendment to strike out any references to a two-state solution, an idea that has long been repudiated. Unfortunately, it was rejected by the Rules Committee.
It’s a time for choosing for these supposed pro-Israel Democrats. They are either with America and Israel, or they are with the far Left and PLO terrorists. It’s not the job of Republicans to obfuscate the irreversible party divide on the issue.
How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him.” — Kings 1: 18-19
As for Republicans, why not harness this once-in-a-generation opportunity to end — finally — the foreign policy mistakes of the past. Is it too much to ask that we defund the U.N.? Is cutting off $500 million to PLO terrorists beyond the scope of their agenda? Reforming taxes and entitlements might be a cumbersome issue, but defunding the U.N. and PLO is not.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.