President Donald Trump and conservative members of Congress are thinking seriously about reducing the amount of money the U.S. spends on the United Nations, but the Trump administration is already taking steps to show the UN that it is serious about opposing the organizations anti-Israel bias.
The State Department announced on Monday that the U.S. would boycott the day’s UN Human Rights Council session in response to agenda items on the docket.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration was specifically opposed to one item: “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”
Toner said that was “yet another reminder of that body’s long-standing bias against Israel.”
“As an expression of our deeply-held conviction that this bias must be addressed in order for the Council to realize its legitimate purpose, the United States decided not to attend the Council’s Item Seven General Debate session,” Toner said.
The Council has been in place since 2006, but George W. Bush refused to participate, citing the anti-Israel bias of its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission. Obama decided to join the Council, however, saying the U.S. could effect change only by getting inside the sessions.
As he was on so many things, Obama was mistaken. Sadly, the reverse seemed to have happened. While the Obama administration remained nominally supportive of Israel, the president himself was far too forgiving of Palestinian terrorism. And who can forget his final insult; to abstain from a Security Council resolution condemning Israel for their settlement activity.
The Trump administration is now sending a clear message to the UN: Those days are over. Trump and the Republicans may not be on the same page when it comes to every issue, but there’s no daylight between them on this one. The U.S. cannot put its stamp of approval on resolutions and official meetings that speak of Israel as though it were the 21st century’s answer to the Third Reich. It’s not only morally repugnant to take this position, it’s a danger to our national security interests.
The UN can be a force for good in the world, and we won’t deny that it has helped to relieve suffering in many war-torn countries. But when it tacitly celebrates Islamic dictatorships, terrorist activity, and socialism, it is creating more problems than it is solving. And for as much as the organization depends on U.S. funding, you’d think the U.S. would have a greater say in its direction.
Well, to have that influence, you have to demand it. And to demand it, you have to be willing to close up your wallet and walk away.