By World Israel News—
US Ambassador to the United Nation (UN) Nikki Haley on Tuesday told Congress that the Trump administration’s policy was to prevent any Palestinians from serving in UN positions, unless and until the US recognizes an independent Palestinian state.
“If we don’t recognize Palestine as a state, we needed to acknowledge, also, that we could not sit there and put a Palestinian forward until the US changed its determinations on that front,” Haley told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
In February, the US blocked the appointment of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to lead the UN’s political mission in Libya. Though the post was unrelated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the US described the move as an act of support for Israel.
On Wednesday, responding to a reporter’s comment that such a decision was “discriminatory,” the State Department stood by Haley’s remarks, tying the move to block Fayyad’s appointment to US concerns about “Palestinians’ efforts to achieve recognition of Palestine as an independent state through the United Nations system.”
“ believes that the United Nations and many believe that the United Nations needs to be reformed, that for far too long the United Nations has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel. I know that’s a concern of hers. She’s talked about that a lot. She’s talked about reforming the United Nations,” explained Spokesperson Heather Nauert.
“This situation is unique and should be viewed through the lens of the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Edgar Vasquez, a spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
At the time, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon praised Haley for blocking Fayyad’s appointment, referring to it as a demonstration of standing alongside Israel in the UN.
“This is the beginning of a new era at the UN,” said Danon. “The new Administration proved once again that it stands firmly alongside the State of Israel in the international arena and in the UN in particular.”