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  • Anastasia Kourtis

Make America Israel's ally again

On Dec. 23, 2016, the United Nations adopted the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlements in “Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” Out of the fifteen Security Council members, fourteen of them voted against the Israeli settlements, while the US, who has veto power, decided to abstain from the vote. Even more troubling, this resolution stated that the Western Wall, being one of the most Holy sites to the Jewish people does not belong to Israel.

Israel has always been an important ally to the United States and the decision of the Obama administration not to veto the resolution is nothing more than a stab in the back to the only pro-American free enterprise democracy in the Middle East. Even though this resolution is supposed to establish peace in the Middle East, it undermines Israel’s sovereignty and does not address various issues, including the fact that the Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization. On the one hand the UN constantly tries to delegitimize the Jewish State by imposing numerous sanctions on Israel instead of focusing on human rights abuses conducted by the Palestinians and other countries like Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

On the other hand, the Obama administration would constantly declare some sort of a “war on Israel” making nuclear “deals” with countries like Iran, who chant “death to America and death to Israel” while treating Benjamin Netanyahu in the most disrespectful way. According to the ‘Times of Israel’ former president Obama’s dislike for Netanyahu is intense, filtering down to former white House advisors.

The incoming Trump administration has pledged to stand with Israel. With the help of a unified Republican Congress, the new administration will be able to take several steps toward restoring our relationship with Israel. For example, former political opponents Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) along with Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), have introduced a bill to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. This bill was also endorsed by the Israeli ambassador to the UN Oren Libermann.

Concerning the UN, President Trump has nominated South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the next US ambassador to the UN. As Governor Haley had signed legislation that banned the BDS movement. The BDS movemt (also know as Boycott, Divest Sanction, is a global movement aiming to boycott Israeli goods. Furthermore, when responding to Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address she specified her objection to the Iran nuclear deal, while praising Prime Minister Netanyahu as an effective leader and ally to the United States.

During her confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate foreign relations committee, Haley spoke up against the UN’s treatment of Israel and questioned the extravagant funding the UN receives each year from the US, with 22% of the UN budget coming from American tax dollars. As she stated during the confirmation hearing:

“I will not go to New York and abstain when the U.N. seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel. I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.”

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson has also stated his support for Israel. He called John Kerry’s comment, like “if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic” “quite troubling” and stated: “The president-elect has already made it clear that we're going to meet our obligations to Israel as the most important ally in the region.”

Establishing peace in the Middle East is something very hard to achieve and will take a long time. Nonetheless the reckless actions taken by the Obama administration that undermined the legitimacy of Israel has only made matters worse. However, I am confident that the new administration will side with Israel in an effort to establish lasting peace.

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