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.
The 11 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.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Tom Cotton (R-Ariz.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
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.
On Tuesday, in his final address to the United Nations, Obama told the General Assembly that Israel “cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”
In March, a Wall Street Journal report said that Obama was considering using the UN to force through a last-ditch peace resolution which favors the Palestinian cause before he leaves office.