US Senator Graham vows to defend Israel

US Senator Graham vowed to use his position to defend Israel against the diplomatic war waged by the international community.    

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News

US Congress

(Konstantin L/Shutterstock)

Ranking US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated on Wednesday during a trip to Israel that allowing the United Nations to decide the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be a “mistake.” He vowed to cut funding to the intergovernmental organization if it recognizes a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

Following remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the March elections in Israel that the establishment of a Palestinian state would not happen under his watch, President Barack Obama said he would reassess US policy toward Israel. The UN Security Council (UNSC) could therefore be a potential starting point to push forward a Palestinian state with US support.

Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem, Graham, who serves as chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees US funding of international organizations, said that if the UNSC dictates the terms of the peace process, he would “lead an effort to suspend their funding.”

“If there’s an effort by any nation to have the Security Council define the terms of the peace process, there will be a violent backlash from the United States Congress in a bipartisan fashion,” Graham warned. “We provide 25 percent of the funding to the United Nations. We have a lot of influence.”

“I’m not going to ask the American taxpayer to fund an organization that’s going to be used in a way to marginalize one of our closest friends, the State of Israel,” he stated.

Comparing Israel to Boko Haram

“There’s a report that may come out any day now where the United Nations is considering the State of Israel in the same category as Boko Haram when it comes to crimes against children,” he said. “If that ever happened, if the United Nations embraced a report putting the State of Israel in the same categories with terrorist organizations in terms of the way they treat innocent people, particularly children, that would be an outrage that would not go unanswered,” Graham asserted.

France has reportedly said it would take a resolution on the conflict to the UNSC. The French have set an 18-month deadline for the diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), after which they are threatening to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if there is no agreement. In response, Graham said Congress would not allow France to take over the peace process.

The senator added he would lead an effort to punish through economic measures any country that engaged in efforts to pursue IDF soldiers for alleged war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Regarding the pending deal with Iran regarding its nuclear aspirations, he assured Netanyahu that a bipartisan Congress would exercise its right for oversight on any deal signed by the Obama administration.

“Without sufficient verification there will be no deal,” Graham declared. “I think that anytime, anywhere, inspections – including the military facilities in Iran – are an absolute must in terms of getting a deal through the US House and Senate.”