In one of his last acts before leaving the White House, President Obama stunned our friends and allies when he failed to block the United Nations (UN) from voting to condemn one of America’s strongest allies in the world, Israel. President Obama stood idly by, allowing the UN to scold Israel for defending their land in the West Bank and establishing settlements in a place that is rightfully theirs. It was appalling to see such a lack of leadership from America on the world stage when our country should have been out front and supporting Israel – not allowing the United Nations to trash our most important democratic ally.
The nation of Israel serves as one of our most outspoken allies to combat radical Islamic terrorism and is our strongest voice for democracy in the Middle East. Despite this, before leaving office last year, President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry not only ignored our ally in a time of need, they even went one step further during a speech by Secretary Kerry where they all but blamed Israel for the decades long conflict with Palestine. Outraged by the lack of support for our strongest allies, I put my support behind a resolution of Congress calling for the complete defunding of the United Nations. How could we continue to be the largest financial backer of an organization which refused to support us?
In sharp contrast to the Administrations of old, President Trump – through his recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli Capital – is taking a strong stance FOR our country’s allies. And at the same time, he is taking the same aggressive posture against those who have a proven track record of not supporting America’s priorities, the United Nations. Just this week it was announced that the we would be cutting the United States’ contributions to the UN by $285 million, finally taking action to stop this overgrown, over-funded, wasteful, bureaucratic organization from letting its army of swamp-dwellers (who have tax-free salaries) degrade America and our allies.
The United States has been the largest funder of the UN’s annual budget since the United Nations was formed in 1945 to promote world peace and the principles of democracy. Last year, America funded 22% of the UN’s budget while China only funded 7%, the United Kingdom 4.5%, and Canada funded less than 3%. Why should we continue to provide such huge amounts of money to an organization that doesn’t support us? It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why the Trump Administration cut $285 million from the UN’s bloated budget to reel in wasteful programs like the UN’s so-called climate change commission. The cuts will also shrink their excessive travel budget and stop the practice of hiring outside consultants to tell unproductive bureaucrats how to do their jobs better.
“The United States will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of, or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else,” President Donald J. Trump. Since speaking those words to the United Nations in September, President Trump has imposed a record number of sanctions on North Korea to defend America against nuclear threats. He has cut off funds to rogue nations like Pakistan who harbor terrorists, continued to squelch ISIS’ hold in the Middle East, and stood up for one of our oldest and strongest allies, Israel. He did all of this without the support of the international community and while being condemned by the UN for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
By cutting our contributions to the United Nations, America is not shrinking from the world stage – rather the contrary. America is now putting its friends and allies ahead of an organization which has for now shown itself to be an ineffective advocate for both the promotion of democratic free nations and the thwarting of intolerant rogue regimes.
Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Contact him at 573-335-0101 or visit https://jasonsmith.house.gov