US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.
(photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Following a warning from President Donald Trump that the US will cut aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to return to peace talks with Israel, his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, specified the administration’s criticism to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, questioning his ability to lead his people to peace.
“I ask here today, where is the Palestinian King Hussein?” a fired-up Haley told a monthly gathering of the UN Security Council on Thursday.
“Where is the Palestinian Anwar Sadat? If President Abbas demonstrates he can be that type of leader, we would welcome it. His recent actions demonstrate the total opposite.”
Haley focused her criticism of Abbas around a speech he delivered earlier this month that has “gotten little attention in the media,” she said.
“He rejected any American role in peace talks. He insulted the American president. He called for suspending recognition of Israel,” Haley said, slamming Abbas for spreading “outrageous and discredited conspiracy” theories, which included the assertion that Jews have no claim to the land.
“Hate-filled speeches and end-runs around negotiations take us nowhere,” she said, comparing Abbas’s rhetoric to that of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s address to the Knesset in 1977, months shy of an historic peace agreement. “If President Abbas demonstrates he can be that type of leader, we would welcome it. His recent actions demonstrate the total opposite,” Haley said.
Within an administration divided over whether to slash funding to the Palestinians in part or in whole, Haley has been an advocate for draconian cuts. Her short tenure as ambassador to the UN has been dominated by her robust defense of Israel in its many agencies.
“We will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace,” Haley said.