Ambassador Nikki Haley today accused the United Nations of empowering the creation of a Jewish “blacklist, plain and simple” with last December’s passage of a resolution condemning Israel for West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements.
Her comments came in a Security Council meeting in which the U.S. vetoed a draft resolution, with 14 voting in favor, that condemned the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and discouraged other countries from moving diplomatic facilities there.
The United States abstained in a Dec. 23, 2016, vote on settlements instead of defending Israel in the final weeks of the Obama administration. The vote on the resolution drafted by Egypt, which demanded Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” was 14 in favor in addition to the U.S. abstention.
During that UN Security Council meeting, then-U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power quoted President Reagan from 1982 saying settlements were “in no way necessary for the security of Israel”; she added that “a routine vote for the U.S. to allow the passage of a resolution with the elements in this one” would be consistent with “familiar, well-articulated components of U.S. policy.”
“It is because this resolution reflects the facts on the ground – and is consistent with U.S. policy across Republican and Democratic administration throughout the history of the State of Israel – that the United States did not veto it,” Power said, even though the administration used its veto power in 2011 to kill a similarly worded resolution.
Today at the UN Security Council, Haley said she didn’t want to waste time on addressing “where a sovereign nation might decide to put its embassy, and why we have every right to do so.”
Haley declared that if the U.S. had the opportunity to vote again on last December’s Resolution 2334, the U.S. would veto.
“On the surface, Resolution 2334 described Israeli settlements as impediments to peace. Reasonable people can disagree about that, and in fact, over the years the United States has expressed criticism of Israeli settlement policies many times,” she said.
“But in truth, it was Resolution 2334 itself that was an impediment to peace. This Security Council put the negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians further out of reach by injecting itself, yet again, in between the two parties to the conflict. By misplacing the blame for the failure of peace efforts squarely on the Israeli settlements, the resolution gave a pass to Palestinian leaders who for many years rejected one peace proposal after another. It also gave them encouragement to avoid negotiations in the future. It refused to acknowledge the legacy of failed negotiations unrelated to settlements. And the Council passed judgment on issues that must be decided in direct negotiations between the parties.”
The ambassador stressed that asking Israel to halt all settlement activity in East Jerusalem, even in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, “is something that no responsible person or country would ever expect Israel would do.”
“Resolution 2334 did what President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel did not do: It prejudged issues that should be left in final status negotiations,” she said.
Haley condemned the December vote for giving “new life to an ugly creation of the Human Rights Council: the database of companies operating in Jewish communities.”
“This is an effort to create a blacklist, plain and simple. It is yet another obstacle to a negotiated peace. It is a stain on America’s conscience that we gave the so-called BDS movement momentum by allowing the passage of Resolution 2334,” she said. “To the United Nations’ shame, this has been a disproportionately hostile place for the Middle East’s most enduring democracy.”
“…For decades, Israel has withstood wave after wave of bias in the UN and its agencies. The United States has often stood beside Israel. We did not on December 23, 2016. We will not make that mistake again.”