The fight to defund the United Nations over an anti-Israel resolution has expanded to the House of Representatives, and a Texan is leading the charge.
Kay Granger, R.-Fort Worth, and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York co-introduced legislation on Tuesday that cuts off U.S. taxpayer funding to the U.N. until Security Council Resolution 2334 is repealed.
In the waning days of President Barack Obama’s administration, the United States broke from tradition and abstained from an United Nations resolution criticizing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, causing the resolution to pass. The resolution passed the Security Council with 13 nations in favor and none opposed.
Tuesday’s bill, dubbed the Safeguard Israel Act, is identical to an effort in the Senate introduced in early January by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, both Republicans.
“I meant it when I said that the United States should seriously re-examine our financial support of the United Nations,” Granger said in a statement. “The recent one-sided, anti-Israel resolution that passed the U.N. Security Council was only the latest example of the U.N.’s warped priorities and hostility toward our friend and democratic ally. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Congressman Zeldin, which shows the American people, Israel and our allies around the world that we stand with them against attempts to undermine and delegitimize them.”
Granger said she opposed the U.N. resolution, along with most congressional Republicans, because it declared portions of Jerusalem “occupied Palestinian territory” and “could enable the International Criminal Court to open an illegitimate formal investigation against Israel.”
Newly appointed U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley phoned her counterpart in Israel on Monday to voice her support for the predominantly Jewish state. Haley is on record as opposing the resolution.
“I will not go to New York and abstain when the U.N. seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel,” Haley said earlier in January. “I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.”
The U.S. funds 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular budget and is the largest contributor of any member state.
“United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 is an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish attempt on behalf of pro-Palestinian nations to delegitimize Israel and ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria of the Jewish people,” Zeldin said in a statement.
Granger’s bill comes six weeks after the first two F-35 aircraft, which are assembled in Fort Worth, were delivered to Israel. Israel is scheduled to receive 50 F-35s, which have a price tag of $100 million each.