U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham Vows ‘Violent Pushback’ to Protect Israel in UN

Presumed presidential hopeful visits Israel to declare support for ‘our best friend.'

Yair Ettinger
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U.S. Sen. Graham talks to the press during in Jerusalem, May 27, 2015.Credit: AFP
Yair Ettinger

As the United States awaits his official declaration that he plans to contend for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Sen. Lindsey Graham came to Israel to reinforce his relations with the new government.

At a press conference on Wednesday in Jerusalem after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the senator from South Carolina promised to lead a “violent pushback” against the United Nations if it tries to impose a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians and against any country that prosecutes Israeli soldiers in the International Criminal Court. Graham also criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, particularly with regard to Islamic State, the organization also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Ask how he planned to act against the United Nations if any of the initiatives to set a deadline for a peace agreement were passed, Graham said he would withdraw U.S. funding to the body, which he said was 25 percent of the organization's budget.

“I am in charge of the foreign assistance account, I’m in charge of the money we provide for the United Nations,” he explained, referring to his chairmanship of an appropriations subcommittee. “I’m not going to ask the American taxpayer to fund an organization that’s going to be used in a way to marginalize” Israel, which he called “our best friend.”

Graham met Wednesday with Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Michael Oren (Kulanu,) a former ambassador to the United States.