Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Personally Thanks Countries Who Voted Against Palestinians

The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has written thank-you notes to every country that stood with the United States and Israel in voting against nonmember observer state status at the Palestinian Authority last week.

That means Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) only had to write seven letters.

Canada, Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Panama were the only countries to stand against the move, with 41 others abstaining.

"We strongly support the achievement of a negotiated, true, and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  For that reason, we opposed the Palestinian leadership’s decision to reject direct negotiations with Israel and, instead, unilaterally seek recognition of a non-existent Palestinian state by international organizations and foreign governments," Ros-Lehtinen wrote to heads of state. "We appreciate your courageous opposition to the UN General Assembly’s irresponsible decision to support this reckless unilateral Palestinian statehood scheme—and we regret that more nations did not follow your example.  Unfortunately, because of the UN General Assembly’s actions, lasting peace and security between Israel and the Palestinians is even further away from becoming reality."

"Thank you again for opposing the UN’s decision to back the unilateral Palestinian statehood scheme," she added. "By voting 'No,' you did the right thing for peace, for Israel, and for the Palestinian people. Please know that we will always support your efforts to do the right thing at the UN."

Ros-Lehtinen's counterpart on the Senate side, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), had no public reaction to last week's vote.