World

Trump: UN Is A 'Club' That Wastes Time

| by Robert Fowler

President-elect Donald Trump has blasted the United Nations, deriding the international organization as a waste of time. Trump's criticism arrived shortly after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to oppose Israeli settlements along the West Bank and east Jerusalem, signaling a growing tension between his administration and the global community.

On Dec. 26, Trump took to social media to criticize the UN, describing the organization as an inefficient "club."

"The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time," Trump tweeted out. "So sad!"

The latest tweet appears to be linked to Trump's previous statement on Dec. 23, when the UN Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements along what the international community considers to be Palestinian land.

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"As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th," Trump stated, referencing his inauguration as president.

The critical posture of President-elect Trump toward the UN is in response to the Security Council's latest condemnation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government's expanding occupation of disputed lands. In all, 14 nations voted against the settlements, while the U.S. abstained from a veto.

Professor of international relations Arie Kacowicz of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem believes that the Security Council vote comes as a wake-up call for the Netanyahu government, which has proceeded with building Israeli settlements along the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, despite the protestations of the global community and even President Barack Obama.

"The importance of the resolution is to remind Israel, at least at the rhetorical level, that the international community is not completely happy, to say the least, with the ongoing status quo," Kacowicz told CBS News.

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Among the countries that voted to condemn the settlements are China, England, France and Russia.

The Netanyahu government has expressed outrage over the resolution, with Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer accusing the Obama administration of engineering the embarrassing vote.

"We have that evidence… we're going to present it to the new administration, and if they choose to share it with the American people, that'll be their choice," Dermer told Fox News.

The Israeli ambassador also suggested that the incoming Trump administration should consider cutting off U.S. funding to the UN, a move that would be massively confrontational with the global community.

"I think a new president and Congress that wants to make sure that every penny of your money is going to something that protects and defends and advances U.S. interests — I think there's a lot of changes that could happen at the United Nations," Dermer added.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has already proposed a bill that would withdraw U.S. funding for the UN unless the resolution is repealed. Graham asserted that the U.S. provides 22 percent of the UN's overall budget.

"I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel," Graham told CNN.

The South Carolina lawmaker added: "The settlement issue is no doubt an issue. ... But I can't support funding a body that singles out the only democracy in the Middle East who shares our values."

Sources: CBS News, CNNFox News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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