- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A House resolution condemning President Obama’s refusal to veto an anti-Israel U.N. measure was introduced Tuesday with the support of 51 Republican cosponsors but no Democrats.

Rep. Dennis Ross, Florida Republican, submitted the language moments after the start of the 115th Congress. Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republican, is expected to introduce a companion measure in the Senate.

The resolution of disapproval doesn’t mince words, denouncing the president for breaking the nation’s “longstanding commitment to the State of Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East, by refusing to veto this one-sided and anti-Israel resolution.”

“Instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our closest ally and vetoing this dangerous resolution, the U.S., under the direction of President Obama, broke its strong and well-established commitment to Israel,” said Mr. Ross in a statement.

The lack of support so far from House Democrats comes even though at least a half-dozen Democrats criticized the administration’s failure to veto U.N. Security Council Resolution 2234, which labels Israeli settlements as illegal.

By abstaining, the White House allowing the measure to pass Dec. 23 on a 14-0 vote. Secretary of State John Kerry later defended the move, arguing that the settlements are jeopardizing a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, three Senate Republicans — Ted Cruz of Texas, Dean Heller of Nevada and Marco Rubio of Florida — introduced a bill Tuesday to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and withhold a portion of the State Department budget until the move is made.

Similar bills have been introduced regularly since the passage of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, which moves the embassy to Jerusalem but also allows the president to impose six-month waivers on the switch in the interests of national security.

Mr. Obama issued the most recent waiver on Dec. 1, but President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to follow through on the 21-year-old law.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement. “It’s time for Congress and the President-Elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”

Mr. Cruz blasted the Obama administration’s “vendetta against the Jewish state,” adding, “I look forward to working with the Trump administration to make this happen.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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