Senator: UN Risks Funding Cut for Meddling in "Peace Process"
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned in Jerusalem Saturday that there will be a "violent backlash" from the U.S. Congress if the United Nations attempts to "take over the peace process" in the Middle East.
Standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Graham said the House and Senate, both slated to be controlled by Republicans after the first week of January, will act, "if there is any effort by the UN Security Council to set the terms of peace negotiations, avoiding direct talks. President Obama in 2011 said the United Nations was not the right venue when it came to discussing the peace process in reaching a two-state solution. I agree with what President Obama said in 2011."
Graham's comments come a day after Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told al-Arabiya that the Palestinians will push the UN Security Council to vote Monday for an Israeli Defense Forces pullback to pre-1967 borders.
Erekat also compared Netanyahu with the leader of the Islamic State or ISIS.
The Jerusalem Post quoted part of Netanyahu's response Saturday night to the comparison: "This is the same Palestinian Authority that joins hands with Hamas, incites constantly against Israel, the kind of incitement that has led to an attack that we witnessed just two days ago of a Molotov cocktail thrown at a little girl, and I commend our security forces for apprehending the terrorists."
Netanyahu continued, "But the same Palestinian Authority is going to try to bring the UN Security Council a resolution that seeks to impose on us conditions that will undermine our security. And I want to assure you that we will stand firmly and reject such a dictate. We always have; we always will."
Graham cautioned that "any effort by the French, the Jordanians or anyone to avoid direct negotations between the Israelis and Palestinians over the peace process, anyone who tries to take this to the UN Security council," will face congressional resprisals.
He also backed Netanyahu's warnings about the P5-plus 1 nations reaching a bad deal with Iran concerning its nuclear weapons program.
"If Iran walks away from the table, sanctions will be re-imposed," Graham said. "If Iran cheats regarding any deal that we enter into with the Iranians, sanctions will be re-imposed. It is important to let the Iranians know that from an American point of view, sanctions are alive and well. So we will be following your counsel and advice," he told the prime minister.