A bipartisan group of 88 U.S. senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday urging him to veto any anti-Israel resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict brought in front of the United Nations Security Council before his term ends.
The pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), initiated and sponsored the letter with leading efforts by Sens. Michael Rounds (R-S.D.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Hours after the statement was released, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he supported the “spirit” of the letter but did not sign it because he rejects the idea that a “two-state solution” is the “only” resolution.
Eleven others who did not sign the bipartisan letter are: Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Tom Cotton (R-Ariz.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
The letter states, “We urge you to continue longstanding U.S. policy and make it clear that you will veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months. Any such resolution, whether focused on settlements or other final status issues, will ultimately make it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to resolve the conflict.”
The senators also wrote the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations leading to a two-state solution.
The letter also reminded Obama about former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who vetoed a U.N. resolution that was one-sided in February 2011 as proof that “even well intentioned initiatives” at the U.N. could “risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiation table and make the compromises necessary for peace.”