UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is outrageous, as was president Obama’s betrayal of our closest ally in the Middle East. A bipartisan group of 88 US Senators and 394 House members called on President Obama to veto such a resolution against Israel. His orchestration of the resolution and refusal to veto it was shameful.
The resolution does nothing to advance peace. Israeli “settlements” are not the obstacle to peace. Many of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are situated on high ground overlooking the coastal plain, where most of Israel’s population resides. They ensure that terrorists are not able to rain terror on Tel Aviv and other population centers. Calling Israel an “occupier” is equally ridiculous. Jews have a right to live in their ancestral homeland and the territory that Israel captured in 1967 was lawfully captured in a war of justified self-defense. Before Israel captured the Golan Heights, the Syrian military stationed artillery overlooking the Galilee and would mercilessly shell Israeli civilians. To suggest that Israel should relinquish control of the Golan heights, especially given the current events in Syria, is unthinkable. The resolution’s language even implies that the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, is “occupied territory.” Jews have had ties to the land of Israel for 3000 years, and a piece of paper from an organization dominated by the world’s most vile regimes will not change that. Israel has always been willing to make compromises for peace, including withdrawing from Gaza in 2005. The Palestinian leadership’s continued support for terrorism and unwillingness to negotiate in good faith is the reason that the Palestinians do not have a state of their own, not “settlements.”
Next month, we can begin to repair the damage. We should respond to Resolution 2334 in three ways. First, we should immediately move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal undivided capital. It will show the world that America stands with Israel and that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Second, the American taxpayer funds 22 percent of the UN budget. It is time to send a message by defunding this bastion of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism that continues to work against our interests and castigate our allies.
Third, it is time to hold the Palestinian Authority (PA) accountable for inciting and funding terrorism. The PA and their leadership glorify murdering Jews in their education system and on their state television. They pay salaries to families of terrorists who murder innocent Israelis. The more heinous the crime, the loftier the salary. Over the summer, a 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death in her bedroom by a Palestinian terrorist and Taylor Force (a US Army veteran) was stabbed to death in another attack. These Palestinian terrorists have been glorified and their families are receiving monetary payments from the PA as a reward for their heinous crimes. The PA has spent millions of dollars paying salaries to terrorists. We need to pass the Taylor Force Act and force the PA to choose between funding terrorism or receiving American taxpayer money.
Finally, the renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act was a step in the right direction. Deals with dictators do not make us safer; especially when the dictatorship is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. The JCPOA is a disaster. It has paved the way for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and has empowered them to spread death and destruction throughout the Middle East. We must vigorously oppose the expansion of Iranian influence and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. I look forward to working to strengthen the US-Israel relationship on January 20th.
Matt Gaetz is Congressman for Florida’s First Congressional District. He is the past Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee and Finance & Tax Committee in the Florida House of Representatives.