Haley forsaking US allies to defend Israel, Palestinian envoy charges

Riyad Mansour: Her “arrogant discourse” had offended many of the countries in the room, including Saudi Arabia.

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July 25, 2018 17:23
3 minute read.
Haley forsaking US allies to defend Israel, Palestinian envoy charges

PLO envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley took the international community to task for failing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to support for the Palestinians.

UN member states, in particular the Arab countries, are quick to speak volumes about the Palestinians, but are suddenly absent when it comes to writing a check, Haley told the UN Security Council on Tuesday as it held its monthly meeting on the Middle East in New York.




“Talk is cheap,” Haley said. “No group of countries is more generous with their words than the Palestinians’ Arab neighbors, and other OIC [Organization of the Islamic Cooperation] member states. But all of the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up.”

The United States, she said, which is often criticized for its strong support for its ally Israel, has given the Palestinians “a quarter of a billion dollars every year since 1993,” Haley said.

“Since that year, the United States has provided over six billion – with a B – dollars in bilateral [sic] assistance to Palestinians,” Haley said.

She spoke as the United States is under attack for its sharp monetary cutback to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) this year. It dropped its annual contribution from $364 million to $60 million.

Haley outed countries for having given minimal funds to the Palestinians.

Iran, Tunisia and Algeria gave UNRWA nothing at all in 2017, Haley said.

Pakistan and Egypt each gave $20,000, she said, adding that Oman gave $668,000.

Arab nations are not the only ones who have been loath to support the Palestinians, Haley said.

China donated $350,000 to UNRWA and Russia gave it $2 million.

Turkey gave $6.7m., Kuwait $9m. and the United Arab Emirates gave $12.8m., Haley said.

“Words at the United Nations or actions on the streets and in the schools of Palestinian communities – which matters more?” Haley asked.

The US has concluded that “judging by the vitriol that is directed toward the United States from the Palestinian representatives... [its] support is unappreciated or unwelcomed,” Haley said.

“If we extend a hand in friendship and generosity, we do not expect our hand to be bitten. And as we extend our hand, we also expect others to extend their hands as well,” Haley said.

The issue goes beyond funding, she said. The Arab countries have done little to encourage the necessary “reconciliation between Palestinian factions.”

They have not denounced Hamas terrorism or supported compromises for peace, the ambassador said.

“It is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away,” Haley said.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN Security Council told the organization that his country “strongly believes in actions not words, hence the total financial support over the past two decades to UNRWA amounted to one billion [dollars], with a B, and more than six billion – with a B – to the Palestinian people over the last two decades.”

Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour charged that Haley had ignored United States interests and alienated its allies through her unwavering support of Israel.

“She is becoming more Israeli than the Israelis themselves,” Mansour told reporters in New York after the council meeting.

Mansour told reporters that Haley had insulted “important allies of the US for the sake of promoting an unconditional defense of Israel.”

One could say that it was “not in the interest of the US” and “much more in the interest of Israel,” Mansour explained.

Her “arrogant discourse” had offended many of the countries in the room, including Saudi Arabia, Mansour said, adding that this included “close allies of the US – such as the Arab countries in the Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia.”

Such a statement, he said, is “typical of the Trump administration.”

It is not possible to tell the security council that “you are the only one who is helping and others are not doing anything – that is not the case,” the envoy said.

If the US truly cared about the Palestinian people, it would not have cut its funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, Mansour added.


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