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Hoyer Statement on Israel Resolution on the House Floor Tomorrow

For Immediate Release: 
January 4, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in support of H.Res. 11, expressing opposition to the U.S.'s abstention from a U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution regarding Israel:

“Before the vote on December 23, I had urged President Obama and Secretary Kerry to use the United States's veto power at the U.N. Security Council to defeat Resolution 2334.  While some point out that abstaining from the vote on the resolution was consistent with the actions of previous Administrations, allowing such a one-sided resolution to pass at this moment sent the wrong signal to our ally Israel, to Israel's enemies, and to the world.  

"I will be supporting the bipartisan House Resolution expressing opposition to the December 23 abstention vote for this reason and because I believe Congress must continue to stand in solidarity with Israel as it faces an unprecedented onslaught of terror and delegitimization.  The United Nations disproportionately targets Israel for criticism, condemning the Jewish state more last year than it did infamous violators of human rights and international law, such as Syria, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and South Sudan - combined.  Meanwhile, Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists continue to threaten Israeli civilians with Iran-supplied rockets and with tunnels built for the purposes of kidnapping and murder.  The U.N. Security Council – historically an epicenter of anti-Israel bias – is not the place to adjudicate issues involving Israel, particularly those regarding a two-state solution. 

"A simple counting shows that more than half of the resolution’s operative paragraphs are critical of Israel; none are adverse to Palestinians.  The vote to abstain on a resolution that fails to pressure Palestinians to abandon a so-called ‘right of return’ or recognize Israel as a Jewish state, while unilaterally assigning blame to Israel for the ongoing conflict, undermines prospects for a two-state solution.  Such an abstention only serves to ostracize Israel further, fuel the insidious B.D.S. movement, and embolden Palestinian leaders who continue to drag their feet, as we have already seen with President Abbas using the resolution to justify not taking necessary steps toward peace.  

“Perhaps most concerning, this abstention allowed for the passage of a resolution that defines the eastern part of Jerusalem – and with it the Western Wall, Jews’ most sacred place of prayer – as a settlement area and not, as recognized by the United States Congress, part of Israel's capital.

“I remain adamant – as previous administrations have been – that a two-state solution ‘must emerge from direct negotiations between the parties in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 388,’ as President Bush wrote in 2004 to Prime Minister Sharon. Strong, bipartisan support for this House resolution will send a message to deter any last-ditch efforts that might further undermine Israel’s position, particularly with regard to the conference to be held in Paris later this month.  Support for Israel in this country has always been bipartisan, and it will surely remain so in the future."