United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens to a speaker during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018..
(photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)
The Arab nations must prove that the Palestinians are a priority by supporting Trump’s peace plan when it is unveiled, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the United Nations Security Council on Monday.
She spoke at the UN’s monthly meeting on the Middle East, which often focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Throughout her two years as ambassador, Haley attempted to divert the conversation onto other regional issues such as Syria and Iran.
Tuesday’s monthly meeting was her last, before she leaves office at the end of December. Haley took the opportunity to speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Trump Peace plan and the UN’s “biased obsession” with Israel.
Israel has always wanted peace with its neighbors and demonstrated that it wants peace, “but it does not want to make peace at any price and it shouldn’t.”
The Palestinians also do not need to accept a peace deal at any price, she said.
“Both sides would benefit greatly from a peace agreement, but the Palestinians would benefit more, and the Israelis would risk more.”
It is with this backdrop in mind, that the Trump Administration has crafted its plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, she said.
Haley explained that she had read the peace plan, which brings new elements to the discussion. It takes advantage of new technology and recognizes that realities on the ground have changed, she said.
This plan is “different than all previous ones,” but the critical question is whether the response will be different, Haley said.
There are things in the plan that all parties will like and that all parties will dislike, she said, adding that this is certainly true for the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“Every country or party will therefore have an important choice to make. They can focus on the parts of the plan that they dislike, for irresponsible parties that will be the easy part to do,” she said.
“The other choice is to focus not on the parts of the plan that you do like and encourage negotiations to go forward,” Haley said.
UN member states will also face the same choice, particularly the Arab states and EU member states.
“To my Arab friends… you have said that you know a solution is urgently needed, but your governments have not been willing to talk to your constituencies about what is realistic or to the Palestinian leadership about the harm they are doing to their very own people,” Haley said.
“By taking the easy way, you are really saying that the Palestinian people are not a priority for you, because if they were you would all be in a room helping bring both sides to the table,” Haley said.
The US has demonstrated time and again its commitment to peace in the Middle East, Haley said.
“We will continue to offer our hand to the Palestinian people who we have financially supported by far, more than any country has done.”
“Whatever it is that others decide, the world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support of Israel, its people and its security, that is an unshakable bond between our two peoples. It is that bond, more than anything else, that makes peace possible,” Haley said.
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