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House poised to vote on Dennis Ross-backed proposal rebuking Obama, UN for ‘anti-Israel’ vote

On Thursday, the GOP-led House of Representatives will vote on a resolution sponsored by Polk County Republican Dennis Ross that disapproves of President Obama and his administration’s refusal to veto a United National Security Council resolution criticizing Israel for building settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Five days later, Secretary of State John Kerry defended that decision, giving a speech in which he strongly condemned Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both and it won’t ever live in peace,” Kerry said.

The move has prompted fierce criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that “friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.” And Israel’s allies in the U.S. have been equally condemning, including President-elect Donald Trump, congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats.

“President Obama’s constant disdain and hostility toward our closest ally is completely unacceptable. The administration’s recent refusal to veto the U.N.’s anti-Israel resolution is utterly shameful and flies in the face of the United States’ long-standing relationship with Israel,” Ross said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The United States has historically opposed and vetoed U.N. resolutions that are one-sided and anti-Israel. However, when the U.N. Security Council adopted an anti-Israel resolution that threatens peace in the Middle East, the U.S. sat idly by and turned its back on Israel. Instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our closest ally and vetoing this dangerous resolution, the U.S., under the direction of President Obama, broke its strong and well-established commitment to Israel.”

Ross went on to say that he looks forward to working with the incoming president in correcting what he called President Obama’s “anti-Israel tactics.”

The resolution has 51 sponsors, including Pasco County’s Gus Bilirakis and Sarasota’s Vern Buchanan.

Buchanan said Kerry’s comments were “offensive” and says he should apologize for them.

“This is not how you treat your strongest ally in the Middle East, a democracy surrounded by hostile nations who have openly called for its destruction,” Buchanan said. “The U.N.’s recent action will only embolden enemies of the Jewish state.”

 

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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