In a recent appearance on Fox News, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) urged the Trump administration to enforce laws that would send a clear message to the United Nations regarding its relationship with the Palestinian leadership. This legislation calls for the defunding of U.N. agencies that allow the Palestinians to join them as a state.
Passed by the U.S. Congress in the 1990s, the two laws were designed to stop the United Nations from accepting groups not recognized as states, such as the Palestinians, to join as a full member. In his appearance on Fox, Cruz said, “Congress has spoken clearly and repeatedly” on this issue, adding that “the Palestinian campaign is a diplomatic offensive against Israel that undermines the prospect for peace, and there must be consequences for U.N. entities that enable and promote that behavior.”
…U.N.-affiliated agencies have allowed the Palestinians to join as a state.
Cruz Pushes for Defunding U.N. Agencies
The Trump administration already has taken a more aggressive stance toward the Palestinians, especially when it comes to financial support. Earlier this year, the president slashed funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to the Palestinian leadership, because the Palestinian Authority continues to aid the families of radical Islamic terrorists who carry out attacks on Israel. However, it appears that current law mandates that the United States take further action in response to the actions of several U.N. agencies.
Cruz pointed out that some U.N.-affiliated agencies have allowed the Palestinians to join as a state. “The law requires that the Trump administration restrict funding from agencies like the Universal Postal Union,” he said. “And the administration should clearly convey to the Postal Union that it intends to enforce the law.”
The Universal Postal Union is one of the U.N. agencies that has allowed the Palestinians to join as a member. The Trump administration previously has threatened to leave the union because of the financial advantages it has given to China over the United States. The other agencies are the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The United States has given about $28 million in funding to these four agencies.
Trump Must Take Further Action
The Palestinian Authority has hampered peace efforts in the region for decades. Despite the fact that Israel has made numerous offers since the refugee crisis materialized, the Palestinian leadership has sharply rejected each one. Furthermore, the Palestinians continue to incentivize terrorism by promising to give money to the families of extremists who are killed or imprisoned.
To make matters worse, the United Nations has shown clear favoritism toward the Palestinians. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has slammed the international body on multiple occasions for its obvious anti-Israel bias. The Trump administration would be wise to take Cruz’s suggestion seriously and enforce the laws on the books. The U.S. must continue to drive home this message to the Palestinians: No more funding until you make genuine efforts toward a peaceful solution.