Graham helps kick off AIPAC with UN funding cut threat

Graham helps kick off AIPAC with UN funding cut threat
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senator draws fire from all sides on Biden, Obama-era probes Has Congress captured Russia policy? Graham on Harris: 'No issue' as to whether 'she is an American citizen' MORE (R-S.C.) helped kick off a prominent pro-Israel lobbying group's annual event in Washington on Sunday by threatening to cut funding to the United Nations.


"All the money that goes in to support the State Department comes through my committee," Graham said kicking off the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) opening session, according to Bloomberg.

"I’m gonna put the United Nations on notice," said Graham, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, adding that he would go after its funding if the organization "marginalized" Israel, the news service added.

Lawmakers have protested the Palestinian Authority's bid to join the International Criminal Court, which is investigating possible war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza last year. The U.N. has said the Palestinians will become a member in April.

Graham and Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (D-Md.) kicked off the first session on Sunday, multiple outlets reported, to illustrate the bipartisan congressional support for Israel, despite controversy over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Tuesday address to Congress, which came at the invitation of Republicans without White House input.

"The circumstances surrounding the invitation [to Netanyahu] were not what they should have been. We all understand that. But don’t lose focus. The bad guy is Iran," Cardin said to applause, Bloomberg reported.

"Many journalists have written the story that this is a relationship in crisis," AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr said, according to Bloomberg. "This is not a crisis. Frankly, it's up to us to not let it become a crisis."

U.N. Ambassador Samantha PowerSamantha Jane PowerSupport swells for renaming Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to honor John Lewis after his death 'Obamagate' backfires: Documents show Biden, Obama acted properly 'Unmaskings' may be common — and that's the problem MORE and national security adviser Susan Rice are slated to speak at the event, though President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Ocasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Ron Johnson subpoenas documents from FBI director as part of Russia origins probe MORE will not. Obama, Biden and Kerry will also not be present at Netanyahu's address Tuesday.

Other major speakers at the event include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcGrath reshuffles campaign in home stretch to Senate election GOP senator draws fire from all sides on Biden, Obama-era probes Chris Wallace rips both parties for coronavirus package impasse: 'Pox on both their houses' MORE (R-Ky.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage Bottom line MORE (D-N.J.).