A Republican congresswoman has introduced a bill with bipartisan support to defund the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) until it condemns the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
After Hamas’ deadly surprise terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) proposed the Stand With Israel Act on Oct. 30 to suspend U.S. funds to the UNHRC until a resolution condemning Hamas is enacted.
“It should not be a heavy lift for the UN, which claims to promote global human rights, to pass a resolution condemning what will go down in history as one of the deadliest attacks against the Jewish people,” Ms. Luna stated, according to a press release from her office.
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Funding for the UNHRC is prohibited by the Stand With Israel Act unless the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly pass a resolution explicitly denouncing the Palestinian terrorist organization.
Calls for Resignation
The timing of Ms. Luna’s bill coincides with calls for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to quit following a speech that some have interpreted as justifying the actions of Hamas.
“The United States should not fund the UN Human Rights Council until it stops targeting our closest ally,” Ms. Luna added, going on to say that the U.N. must unequivocally condemn Hamas’s utter disregard for human life and the terror they are inflicting on Israelis and the innocent Palestinians they use as human shields.
Ms. Luna’s bill was supported by an array of co-sponsors, including Reps. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) and Greg Steube (R-Fla.) and Republican Reps. Brian Babin, Lance Gooden, and Randy Weber of Texas; Andy Biggs of Arizona; Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma; Eric Burlison of Missouri; John Curtis of Utah; Nicole Malliotakis and George Santos of New York; Mary Miller of Illinois; Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey; Andy Ogles of Tennessee; and Victoria Spartz of Indiana.
“The hypocrisy in all of this is while the UNHRC lectures Israel on defense, China (one of their HRC members) is actively putting Muslims in concentration camps,” Ms. Luna said. “It’s time they save the world their virtue-signaling and we defund them.”
Mr. Brecheen offered his support for the legislation, saying in a post on X, “It should not be hard to unequivocally reject and condemn terrorism, but that is unfortunately where the United Nations currently stands.
“We should not be giving a dime to the United Nations Human Rights Council until the UN condemns Hamas for its heinous attack on Israel earlier this month. I will always stand with Israel and its right to defend itself from neighboring countries that want to wipe it off the map. Why won’t the UN stand with Israel too?”
Support in the GOP House
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has shown strong support for Israel, a longtime ally of the United States, since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
As his first legislative act in his leadership role, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) carried a resolution in support of standing with Israel to the floor of the House.
The resolution was approved by a vote of 412–10, with six representatives voting “present” on Oct. 25, mere hours after the new speaker was sworn in.
President Biden also previously called for support for Israel and Ukraine in a recent Oval Office address, saying on Oct. 19 that both should receive increased funding.
According to the president, Israel and Ukraine winning their respective conflicts is in the United States’ national security interest.
“You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” he said.
President Biden went on to underscore his belief that aid was necessary, saying “They keep going, and the cost and the threat to America and the world keep rising.”
In his comments on Ms. Luna’s legislation, Mr. Burlison pointed to the nature of the attacks on the Untied States ally, saying, “Hamas’s disgusting attack on innocents in Israel should be denounced in every possible way and it’s a disgrace the UN has refused to condemn Hamas. It’s our duty as leaders of the free world to defend them. The UNHRC should be ashamed and not a single cent of American tax dollars should fund this corrupt organization.”
Is it hypocritical for the UNHRC to focus on condemning Israel while turning a blind eye to human rights violations by other countries?
He UNHRC condemn Hamas and stand against terrorism?” Mr. Brecheen added.