US envoy says misplacing blame for failure of peace on settlements gives Palestinian leaders a ‘pass’ for rejecting countless offers.
The US rejects the United Nations’ double standard which says Washington is not impartial when it decides where to place its own embassy, but the UN is a neutral party even though it consistently singles Israel out for condemnation, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Monday.
Haley’s comments came at the monthly UN Security Council meeting discussing the Mideast, which came one year after the body adopted anti-settlement resolution 2334. Her words also came just prior to the 15-member body was scheduled to debate an Egyptian proposed resolution against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his decision to move the embassy there.
“I will not use council’s time to address where a sovereign nation might decide to put its embassy, and why we have every right to do so,” Haley said.
Instead, Haley devoted the bulk of her five-minute speech to slamming UNSC 2334, which was adopted one year ago on December 23, 2016. Then president Barack Obama, in his waning days in office, opted to abstain on the measure — rather than casting a veto — allowing the measure to pass.
“Given the chance to vote again on resolution 2334,” she said, “I can say with complete confidence that the US would vote ‘no’, we would exercise our veto power.” The US is expected to veto any resolution concerning the Jerusalem declaration.
Haley said that while Resolution 2334 described Israeli settlements as impediments to peace, “in truth it was Resolution 2334 that was an impediment to peace. The Security Council put the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians further out of reach by injecting itself yet again in between the parties to the conflict.”
Haley said that by “misplacing the blame for the failure of the peace efforts squarely on Israeli settlements, the resolution gave a pass to Palestinian leaders who, for many years, rejected one peace proposal after another.”
In addition, she said, that Security Council resolution gave the Palestinian leadership “encouragement to avoid negotiations in the future.” It also failed to acknowledge the legacy of failed negotiations that had nothing to do with the settlement issue.
Furthermore, she said, by condemning all settlement construction everywhere – including in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem – it passed judgement on an issue that must be decided in direct negotiations between the parties.
Demanding a halt to all settlement activity in east Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter, “is something that no responsible person or country would ever expect Israel to do, and in this way resolution 2334 did what President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem did not do: it pre-judged issues that should be left in final status negotiations,” she said.
Haley said that given the chance today, the US would have voted against the resolution for another reason as well: “It gave new life to an ugly creation of the Human Rights Council – the database of companies operating in Jewish communities (beyond the Green Line). This is an effort to create a blacklist, plain and simple.”
Haley characterized as a “stain on America’s conscience” the fact that the US gave the Boycott Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement “momentum by allowing the passage of 2334.”
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