On November 29, 2016, the House passed the resolution, H.Con.Res.165 (introduced by Rep. Edward Royce, R-CA-39, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee): “Expressing the sense of Congress and reaffirming longstanding United States policy in support of a direct bilaterally negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and opposition to United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing a solution to the conflict.”
This was a strong and laudable move by our legislative representatives to counter the Obama administration’s anticipated end-of-term surprise on Israel. This includes any foolish moves that could be made at the UN or elsewhere aimed at securing a last-ditch foreign policy legacy — while compromising clear and long-standing policy designed to protect the security of those directly involved in the peace process and the very foundation and integrity of the diplomatic peace process — not to mention protecting the security and interests of entire global community who are affected by such decision-making.
Watch Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida speaking on the House floor regarding this resolution,“US Must Veto Any UNSC Resolution Imposing Parameters On Israel”:
“I wish that this resolution was not needed, but sadly, we know better. The fact that we need to bring this up for debate and pass a resolution urging a United States administration to uphold long-standing U.S. policy as it relates to the peace process is telling and also disappointing … These next two months are going to be crucial for our friend and ally, the democratic and Jewish state of Israel … Israel is facing a constant barrage by Palestinians and their supporters at the United Nations …
Sadly, it has become clear over the past year that this administration may be looking to take unprecedented action — and in fact, we’ve heard that the administration has been seeking ways in which it could force the Israelis into making dangerous concessions … I have asked … nearly every administration official who has come before our Foreign Affairs Committee headed by Mr. Royce and Mr. Engel if President Obama will uphold long-standing U.S. policy and will veto any Security Council resolution related to Israel, and each one has evaded the question, refusing to reaffirm this long-standing, unambiguous, non-controversial policy.
Any short-term achievement that an imposed solution will bring will be far outweighed by the long-term damage it will cause … Any action … aimed at forcing unilateral solutions … will be detrimental to the prospects of peace, and it would harm both Israelis and the Palestinians … true peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians can only come by direct, bilateral negotiations between them.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee