(JTA) – Israel will cut approximately $6 million US of its annual contribution to United Nations’ bodies it deems “anti-Israel” following the passage by the UN Security Council of an anti-settlement resolution.
The cuts represent “an act of protest” in response to the resolution adopted last month and target “the portion of the UN budget allocated to anti-Israel bodies,” said a statement Friday by Israel’s UN mission.
Those bodies include the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, and the Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine of the UN Department of Public Information.
Israel’s annual contribution to the United Nations amounts to over $40 million, a spokesperson for the mission told JTA in an email. The UN’s budget for 2016-17 totals $5.4 billion, with the U.S. being the largest contributor followed by Japan and China.
The resolution adopted last month – 14 countries voted in favour, with only the U.S. abstaining – called Israeli settlements “a flagrant violation of international law” that damage the prospects of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the resolution and said he was planning to cut Israeli aid to U.N. bodies, according to the Israeli daily Maariv.
Israel’s decision to cut funds is “the first in a series of steps under consideration by the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Mission in reaction to the recent Security Council resolution,” the statement said.
The mission is planning to move ahead with additional initiatives after Donald Trump assumes the U.S. presidency on Jan. 20. Trump had called for a U.S. veto of the resolution, and slammed President Barack Obama after the vote for treating Israel with “total disdain and disrespect.”
American presidents have long protected Israel from extreme censure at the UN. As recently as 2011, President Barack Obama vetoed a similar resolution on settlements that, like this one, was adamantly opposed by Israel.
On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, urged the U.S. to cut taxpayer funding to the UN unless the international body repeals the anti-settlement resolution, according to a statement.