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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor tonight 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. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video.
Click here to watch his remarks.
“I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise today to reiterate the strong, bipartisan support for our ally Israel in the United States Congress. Support for Israel has always been a bipartisan value, and it reflects the values of our country.
“Although we are entering a period of one-party government, bipartisan support for Israel remains a strategic asset, and those who support Israel need to be careful not to jeopardize that. I think none of my colleagues do that, I want to make it clear.
“In supporting this House resolution, we are expressing our deep concern regarding the decision to abstain in the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334. Some may point out that the decision to abstain does not veer from the actions of past administrations—they would be right, it does not. That may be true, but it does not justify, in my view, this particular vote. Allowing a one-sided resolution, which I perceive the U.N. resolution to be, to be adopted at this juncture sends the wrong signal and emboldens Israel’s and America’s enemies.
“The United Nations is notorious for its disproportionate criticism of Israel. As the Ambassador Samantha Power said before the U.N. Security Council vote on Resolution 2334: ‘As long as Israel has been a member of this institution, Israel has been treated differently from other nations of the United Nations.’ She also noted in that in 2016 alone, the U.N. adopted more resolutions critical of Israel than it did nations that brazenly violate international law and violate human rights. More than Syria, more than Iran, more than North Korea, more than South Sudan, more than Russia – combined. More about Israel.
“A one-sided resolution that assigns exclusive blame to Israel for the continuation of the conflict – without addressing Palestinian incitement of violence, Hamas control of Gaza, or their continued insistence [on] the so-called ‘right of return’ and refusing to accept Israel as the Jewish state – undermines prospects for a two-state solution.
“Also deeply concerning is this [U.N.] resolution’s reference of Israeli presence in east Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and the Western Wall, as illegal.
“The only way to achieve a real and lasting peace that enables Israel to protect its security and remain both a Jewish state and a democratic one is a two-state solution, which I strongly support. There are two parties to this conflict. Both have responsibilities. Both need to take steps toward peace. For Israel this means not building in areas envisioned in the long term as part of the future Palestinian state. And for Palestinians, it means ending incitement, ending terrorism, and affirmatively accepting Israel’s right to existence.
“I urge my colleagues to support this [House] resolution.”