By now you’ve probably heard that President Obama—after waiting eight years and watching Israel’s settler population increase by more than 100,000—finally did something about Israel’s unrelenting colonization of Palestinian land.
On December 23, the United States abstained on UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which reiterated that Israeli settlement activity “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” This abstention allowed the resolution to pass, 14-0.
The resolution is consistent with fifty years of stated bipartisan US opposition to Israeli settlements and recapitulates the international community’s longstanding consensus on this issue. Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the resolution “does not break new ground.”
Nevertheless, some Members of Congress are indignant that the Obama administration allowed the resolution to pass, even though it doesn’t even threaten to sanction Israel if it refuses to comply.
Tomorrow, as one of its very first acts of business in the new 115th Congress, the House of Representatives will vote on H.Res.11 objecting to UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and the Obama administration’s abstention.
And from what we’re hearing, the Senate will soon be voting on its own version of a similar resolution.
Call your Members of Congress right now and urge them to oppose these Congressional resolutions, which are designed to protect and promote Israel’s illegal colonization of Palestinian land.
We may not be able to stop these resolutions from passing, but Members of Congress who oppose Israeli settlements need to hear from their constituents to give them the political backing they’ll need to speak and vote against them.
Click here for talking points that you can use in your phone calls and for text of the House resolution (the Senate version isn’t publicly available yet).
After the UN vote, Secretary Kerry explained: “If we had vetoed this resolution just the other day, the United States would have been giving license to further unfettered settlement construction that we fundamentally oppose.”
These Congressional resolutions are designed to provide Israel the license it seeks to continue its illegal colonization of Palestinian land.
P.S: While UN Security Council Resolution 2334 contains some appropriately strong language against Israeli settlements, it also has some problematic components, which is why we didn’t take a position on it. But Congress should definitely not object to a UN Security Council resolution for the purpose of furthering Israel’s colonization drive.
PPS: Thanks to the more than 16,000 people who signed our petition calling on President Obama to take action on Israeli settlements before leaving office. You helped create the political support for the US decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution, the strongest one passed in almost forty years.