Sens. Rounds Leads Bipartisan Initiative Urging President Obama to Reject and if Needed Veto Any One-Sided Resolutions at the UN

Rounds Logo 2016 MikeRounds official SenateSens. Rounds, Gillibrand, Lead Bipartisan Initiative Urging President Obama to Reject and if Needed Veto Any One-Sided Resolutions at the UN

As the UN General Assembly Begins, 88 Republican and Democrat Senators Join Together to Insist United States Uphold Longstanding U.S. Policy

Senators: “At this delicate stage the international community should both provide hope to the parties and avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for meaningful progress”

WASHINGTON. – U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) today led a bipartisan letter with 86 other Senators urging President Obama to continue the longstanding U.S. policy of vetoing any one-sided United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution offered at the United Nations that would ultimately make it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a sustainable two-state solution.

“At a time of great challenges in the Middle East, we are disappointed that talks between Israelis and Palestinians remain stalled,” the Senators wrote. “The only way to resolve the conflicts between the two is through direct negotiations that lead to a sustainable two-state solution with a future state of Palestine living in peace and security with Israel. This outcome would provide Israel with greater security and strengthen regional stability. Even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace.” 

The U.S. has a longstanding policy of opposing, and if necessary vetoing these resolutions, whether focused on settlements or other final status issues. As President Obama prepares to attend his final UN General Assembly, the Senators called on him to maintain this longstanding policy, as he has in the past.

The letter led by Senators Gillibrand and Rounds is also signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ed Markey (D-MA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Burr (R-NC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Cory Gardner (R-CO),  Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Boozman (R-AR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), John McCain (R-AZ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Gary Peters (D-MI), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Robert Casey (D-PA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Angus King (I-ME), John Thune (R-SD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tim Scott (R-SC), Al Franken (D-MN), David Perdue (R-GA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), James Risch (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Udall (D-NM), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chris Coons (D-DE), David Vitter (R-LA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), James Lankford (R-OK), Jack Reed (D-RI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Steve Daines (R-MT),  and Rob Portman (R-OH).

Below is the full text of the letter:

 Dear Mr. President:

 As you prepare to attend the United Nations General Assembly, we write to address the issue of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. At a time of great challenges in the Middle East, we are disappointed that talks between Israelis and Palestinians remain stalled.  The only way to resolve the conflicts between the two is through direct negotiations that lead to a sustainable two-state solution with a future state of Palestine living in peace and security with Israel. This outcome would provide Israel with greater security and strengthen regional stability. We remain optimistic that, under the right circumstances, Israelis and Palestinians can successfully resume productive negotiations toward this goal.

 At this delicate stage the international community should both provide hope to the parties and avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for meaningful progress.   Even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations (UN) risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace.  The United States remains an indispensable trusted mediator between the parties, and we must continue to insist that neither we nor any other outsider substitute for the parties to the conflict.

 Your administration has consistently upheld the longstanding U.S. policy of opposing – and if necessary vetoing – one-sided UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. As U.S. Ambassador to the UN, the Honorable Susan Rice summarized your Administration’s position well when she exercised America’s veto on a February 2011 resolution: “It is the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ conflict, and even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it for them. Therefore every potential action must be measured against one overriding standard: will it move the parties closer to negotiations and an agreement?  Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse.”

 Mr. President, you also clearly stated in your September 2011 address to the General Assembly, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians – not us –- who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them….  Ultimately, peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied.”

 We could not agree more with these statements. We urge you to continue longstanding U.S. policy and make it clear that you will veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months. Any such resolution, whether focused on settlements or other final status issues, will ultimately make it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to resolve the conflict.

 Sincerely,

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7 thoughts on “Sens. Rounds Leads Bipartisan Initiative Urging President Obama to Reject and if Needed Veto Any One-Sided Resolutions at the UN

  1. Anonymous

    Quick, name the president who has undercut Israel at every opportunity while cutting an unbelievably stupid deal with the evil regime in Iran!

    If you said Barack Hussein Obama, you were right!

    I understand that a lot of Democrats hate countries that actually have a democratic form of government and favor socialist governments; however, that is contrary to the American way-you know, one of the things Superman USED to stand for until Hollyweird decided to go full on anti-American.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      There are 38 BILLION reasons you’re full of baloney.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/world/middleeast/israel-benjamin-netanyahu-military-aid.html

      Jewish Americans overwhelmingly lean Democratic – 50% Dem, 33% Ind, and 17% Rep. http://www.gallup.com/poll/6799/just-how-democratic-jewish-population-america-today.aspx Blaming Democrats for not supporting Israel? Sheesh.

      …And don’t be too quick to deem Israel as “more democratic” than the US. While the Likud Party certainly embraces capitalism, there are plenty of socialist leftovers in Israel – universal healthcare, public education, strong labor unions, government market meddling, massive regulation, and higher taxes than the US.

      While I won’t presume to argue that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are bestest buddies, I would point out that actual, real, and identifiable support for Israel by the Obama administration has never been in doubt.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        I’ll give you 1.7 billion reasons that Obama supports the terrorist regime in Iran. Just because Jewish American vote Democrat-stupidly-doesn’t mean that Obama is any friend to them. I would say that Obama’s support for Israel is in doubt, as is his love of this country.

        How much of a friend to Israel was Obama when he and Johnny K brokered that lousy Iran nuke deal? The deal stinks for America and for any other country that doesn’t believe in Sharia law.

        Also, did my post say that Israel is more democratic? No, it did not, so don’t try to twist things.

        Also, I don’t take anything from the New York Times at face value. It is clearly not a news organ; rather, it is an arm of the Democratic/Socialist party, so it cuts not ice with me.

        In addition, what does the number of Jewish American citizens who vote Democrat have to do with what I posted? Is English your first language? Besides, look at the percentage of American citizens (those who should be the only ones able to vote in American elections) and you will see it is around 2% of the total population, so your percentage of support for Democrats doesn’t make any sense in this matter. Also, if you were trying to prove some sort of point about blaming Jewish Americans for voting Democrat and then tying it in to my statement about Obama not supporting Israel you would have to show some evidence that their concern for Israel was the determining factor in how they vote.

        Sheesh.

        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Never thought I’d say this but Senator Rounds brings much more meaningful legislation across the board than Senator Thune.

    Maybe it’s that Rounds is still excited about his first year in office and hasn’t been worn down by the years of DC or maybe it’s that he was a Governor and he just expects results. Either way I’m impressed by Rounds for finding areas of bipartisanship and an ability to get things passed.

    Reply

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