Even before 45's inauguration as president, Congress is planning to escalate the clash over the U.N. Security Council’s anti-Israel resolution into a full-on conflict between the United States and the United Nations.
If 45 embraces the strategy — and all signals indicate he will — the battle could become the 45th administration’s first confrontation with a major international organization, with consequential but largely unpredictable results.
There are several options under consideration, two senior Senate aides working on the issue told me. Some are considered “micro” options, such as passing a resolution that would bar any funding that might go to implementing the anti-settlement resolution. Other options include withdrawing the United States from U.N. organizations such as UNESCO or passing legislation to protect settlers who are American citizens and might be vulnerable to consequences of the resolution.
Depending on how drastic the funding cuts are to be, Congress may have to pass new legislation to undo some of the obligations.
Senators are also looking at ways to withhold U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority or perhaps punish the Palestine Liberation Organization representative office in Washington. Republicans in the Senate don’t plan to wait until 45 is actually in office; aides said to expect action as soon as senators return to Washington next week.
Some Republicans in Congress are comparing the coming U.S. response to the anti-settlement resolution to the U.S. opposition in 1975 to a U.N. General Assembly resolution that equated Zionism with racism. U.S. Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan led the U.S. opposition to that resolution and gave a famous speech defending the Jewish state from international persecution. That resolution was eventually repealed.