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'Defund the UN' Gains Steam in the US

UN General Assembly
Conservatives and moderate Republicans alike are calling for the United Nations to lose its $3 billion a year in U.S. taxpayer funding over last week's anti-Israel vote in the Security Council. (Reuters photo)

When you have the entire spectrum of the Republican Party—from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)—in agreement on an issue, it's almost always a sure bet something is going to be done about it.

For the United Nations, that's not good news.

First, from Graham, who railed against the U.N. Security Council's 14-0 vote on Resolution 2334 on CNN:

This is a road we haven't gone down before. If you can't show the American people that international organizations can be more responsible, there is going to be a break. And I am going to lead that break.

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I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel.

He went further, giving the world body an ultimatum: Vote again (and get it right this time) so we can give our brand-new negotiator-in-chief—President-elect Donald Trump—some added leverage. As far as he's concerned, all of the U.N.'s funding from the U.S. is on the table.

Don't dismiss the notion that the U.S. can defund the U.N. Yes, it would require a supermajority in the Senate, but there are quite a few pro-Israel Democrats who are just as incensed as Republicans by what happened last week. American taxpayers provide $3 billion a year, or nearly one-fourth of the international organization's total funding.

Then, Cruz tweeted: "Spoke w/ Israeli PM @netanyahu tonight to wish him Happy Chanukah & assure him of strong support in Congress. No US $ for UN until reversed."

FrontPage Magazine has published an article saying that defunding the U.N. isn't enough. The U.S. should withdraw from it entirely, Daniel Greenfield wrote, stating the organization has devolved to just two purposes: "Waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time."

"We should defund and withdraw," Greenfield wrote. "Where quarreling diplomats once preened in the tower above Turtle Bay, seagulls will soar and young couples will walk with their children. The billions we waste on the U.N. will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the U.N., we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.

"Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven't pulled the plug.

"President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the U.N. and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay."

Wednesday, momentum for defunding the U.N. seemed to be gaining tremendous steam, led by Cruz.

"The disgraceful anti-Israel resolution passed by the UNSC was apparently only the opening salvo in the Obama administration's final assault on Israel," the Texas senator told the Washington Free Beacon. "President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Ambassador Power and their colleagues should remember that the United States Congress reconvenes on January 3, and under the Constitution, we control the taxpayer funds they would use for their anti-Israel initiatives. The 115th Congress must stop the current administration's vicious attack on our great ally Israel, and address the major priorities of the incoming administration."

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