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Issue Position: Urging UN Member States to Vote No on Unilateral Palestinian Statehood

Issue Position

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I wrote to Permanent Representatives from 81 countries to the United Nations to oppose a unilateral attempt by the Palestinians to declare statehood at the UN last Fall. The 81 countries from every corner of the world are the likely "swing states" (out of 193 total UN member states) that are not firmly decided on the issue. I asked the UN ambassadors not to support this pending resolution, but to "cast a vote instead for the principle of peace through negotiations." Israel's Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, personally expressed his appreciation for my efforts. In the letter, I warned that Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood unilaterally through a UN resolution could have dire consequences for the Middle East peace process. The unilateral Palestinian move violates the all-important principle that the only way to end the Israeli Palestinian conflict is through negotiations leading to a peace treaty fully accepted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Last November, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to admit the Palestinians as a full member nation. However, the Palestinians have not succeeded in achieving full member status in the General Assembly yet. I will continue to battle against efforts to de-legitimize Israel and to oppose the unilateral push for Palestinian statehood.

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