US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, kicked up a political storm this week. On Tuesday, Ros-Lehtinen introduced the United Nations Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act. If passed into law it would place stringent restrictions on US funding of the UN's budget.
The US currently funds 22 percent of the UN's general budget. That budget is passed by the General Assembly with no oversight by the US. America's 22% share of the budget is nonvoluntary, meaning the US may exert no influence over how its taxpayers' funds are spent.
If Ros-Lehtinen's act is passed into law, the UN will have two years to enact budgetary reforms that would render a minimum of 80% of its budget financing voluntary. If the UN does not make the required reforms, the US government will be enjoined to withhold 50% of its nonvoluntary UN budget allocations.
Beyond this overarching demand for UN budgetary reform, the act contains several specific actions that are directed against UN institutions that advance anti-American and anti-Israel agendas.
Ros-Lehtinen's act would defund the UN Human Rights Committee until such time as it repeals its permanent anti-Israel resolution, and prohibits countries that support terror and are under UN Security Council sanctions from serving as its members. It would also prohibit the US from serving as a member of the UNHRC until such reforms are enacted.
Ros-Lehtinen's bill defunds all UN activities related to the libelous Goldstone Report, and the anti-Semitic Durban process. It vastly curtails and conditions US funding of UNRWA, the Palestinian refugee agency permeated by members of terrorist organizations. UNRWA's facilities are routinely used to plan, execute and incite terrorism against Israel and to indoctrinate Palestinians to seek Israel's destruction.
The bill pays special attention to the Palestinian Authority's plan to have the UN Security Council and General Assembly vote in favor of Palestinian statehood later this month. The bill would cut off US funding to any UN agency or organization that upgrades the Palestinian mission to the UN in any way in the aftermath of a General Assembly vote in favor of such an upgrade in representation.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
Be the first to read Caroline Glick's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.
White House: There Is No Justification For Terrorism Over Expression, Including Muhammed Cartoons | Katie Pavlich