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As South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley moves toward new role as UN ambassador, Sen. Lindsey Graham takes aim at its funding

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Graham wants to de-fund U.N.

Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 5. Evan Vucci/AP

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to cut off U.S. funding to the United Nations over the Security Council's treatment of Israel.

The move comes just as Gov. Nikki Haley faces her confirmation hearing Wednesday on becoming U.N. ambassador.

Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced Thursday they had introduced the Safeguard Israel Act, which would cut off funding to the U.N. until the president certifies to Congress that Security Council Resolution 2334 has been repealed.

The resolution passed last month with the U.S. abstaining by a vote of 14-0.

The document describes Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as being illegal and pegs the continuation as a hurdle to making peace with Palestinian leadership.

Graham said it "undermines and delegitimizes our ally, Israel."

“Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the U.N. comes from the American taxpayer,” Graham said. “I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Mideast, and takes the settlement issue and says that's the most important and only issue in terms of an impediment to peace."

Graham blamed Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama for "taking a slap at Israel" through the U.S. abstaining.

“President Obama betrayed decades of robust bipartisan American support for Israel at the United Nations by permitting the passage of a biased resolution that condemns our close friend and ally," Cruz said.

Haley almost assuredly will be asked about the U.S. relation with the U.N. and Israel during her confirmation in front of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Reach Schuyler Kropf on politics at 843-937-5551. Follow on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

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