Sen. Cruz Responds to the Palestinian Authority’s Attempt to Dictate Terms to Israel

Congress must work to close the widening gap between President, Israel

In response to the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to dictate terms to Israel at the recent United Nations Security Council, I released the following statement in defense of Israel:

It is a sad day for the United States and Israel—and also for the Palestinian people.

Despite the Obama administration’s robust financial support for the Palestinian Authority, the President’s influence is so diminished that he has been unable to dissuade the P.A. from taking this reckless and counterproductive action at the United Nations. Our Israeli friends thus find themselves confronting not only deadly regional enemies—notably Iran that is once again asserting its sponsorship of the P.A.—but also the court of world opinion that is implacably hostile to the Jewish state. And the Palestinian people have once again been betrayed by cynical leaders who are keeping them prisoners of self-destructive hate and undermining the prospects for peace through this unilateral bid to dictate terms to Israel through the U.N.

The Obama administration’s six-year campaign to cajole and bribe the P.A. into responsible behavior has failed. This most recent action demonstrates yet again that the P.A. is not a legitimate negotiating partner. It is not enough to simply object to this resolution while leaving the door open to future iterations. The United States should declare our unambiguous opposition to any and all attempts to exploit the U.N. to unilaterally gain recognition of Palestinian statehood. We should make clear that continuing these efforts will result in the immediate freeze in American financial support to the P.A. At the same time, we need to make equally unambiguous our support for Israel’s imperative to directly negotiate terms with the Palestinians that will guarantee the safety and integrity of the Jewish state. Rather than threatening the Israelis with penalties if they do not offer the Palestinians intolerable security concessions, we should redouble our efforts to ensure that security through mutual investment in programs ranging from missile defense to natural gas exploration.

Such actions might not be popular at the U.N. or in Tehran, but they would provide a much-needed clarity to a monumental challenge – and through that clarity might actually help provide a real path to peace. If President Obama insists on doubling down on his futile efforts to engage the P.A. – while continuing to distance his administration from Israel – the 114th Congress should step into the void to provide strong American leadership on this issue.

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