Pledging she “will not shut up,” United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Tuesday at the UN Security Council that the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “will not change,” The Algemeiner reported.
Her message went unheard by Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, who opted to leave the chamber prior to Haley’s speech. Her remarks followed a lengthy speech by Abbas in which he denounced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a violation of international law.
Recalling a recent incident in which senior Palestinian diplomat, Saeb Erekat, told Haley “to shut up”, the ambassador vowed: “I will not shut up. Rather I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”
Those truths, according to Haley, were that the Palestinians must “choose between two paths,” one of “absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence” and the second that of negotiation and a willingness to make peace. The first path, she observed, “will get the Palestinian people exactly nowhere.”
Addressing Abbas, who had already left the chamber, Haley said: “You don’t have to like that decision but know this, that decision will not change.” She emphasized that the U.S. has the right, like any other nation, to choose the location of its embassies.
Nonetheless, Haley explained that the U.S. was determined to push forward with the peace process. “I sit here today offering the outstretched hand,” Haley said, noting that American negotiators were sitting right behind her, referring to White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.
She stressed that “We will not chase after you,” addressing Abbas again, “The choice, Mr. President, is yours.”
“I expected Mr. Abbas to stay with us and have a dialogue, unfortunately he’s once again running away,” Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said.
“Look what just happened in this room. Mr. Abbas came in, he put his demands on the table, and he left, and he’s expecting you to deliver the results. It’s not going to work that way. The only way to move forward is to have direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” he added.
Haley also took the opportunity to criticize the UN’s attitude toward Israel, saying it “spends a disproportionate amount of time” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and had “proved itself again and again to be biased when it comes to Israel.”
The international body, Haley lamented, used the “most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems.”
Haley first publicly criticized the anti-Israel bias at the UN in her capacity of ambassador a year ago, following her attendance of the monthly Security Council meeting focused on the Middle East for the first time. At that time she said that the United States “will not turn a blind eye” to the disproportionate criticism of Israel in the UN anymore.
[Photo: U.S. Department of State / YouTube]