Josh Rogin writes: Even before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, Congress is planning to escalate the clash over the U.N. Security Council’s anti-Israel resolution into a full-on conflict between the United States and the United Nations. If Trump embraces the strategy — and all signals indicate he will — the battle could become the Trump administration’s first confrontation with a major international organization, with consequential but largely unpredictable results.
Immediately after the Obama administration abstained Friday from a vote to condemn Israeli settlements as illegal, which passed the Security Council by a vote of 14 to zero, Republicans and Democrats alike criticized both the United Nations and the U.S. government for allowing what Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) called “a one-sided, biased resolution.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee for the State Department and foreign operations, pledged to lead an effort to withhold the U.S. funding that makes up 22 percent of the U.N.’s annual operating budget.
“The U.N. has made it impossible for us to continue with business as usual,” Graham told me right after the vote. “Almost every Republican will feel like this is a betrayal of Israel and the only response that we have is the power of purse.” [Continue reading…]