— CSPAN (@cspan) February 20, 2018
The Palestinians have not been pleased with the Trump administration’s new tone at the United Nations.
Where the Obama administration often acquiesced to the Palestinians demands, the new attitude is that America’s greatest Middle East ally, Israel, deserves some respect.
And will get it.
Apparently still under the impression Obama was in charge, a Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, recently demanded that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley “needs to shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.”
Oh, but it is, she made clear.
Her statement Tuesday followed a demand from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for a peace conference later this year. He then left, before Haley spoke.
“I will not shut up rather I will respectfully speak some hard truths,” Haley said.
Her comments, she said, were addressed to Abbas even though he had fled.
“Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk,” she told Abbas. “But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.”
She explained to him those choices.
“There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people,” she said.
“Or there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it,” she said.
Her address was to the U.N. Security Council.
Haley said Abbas is welcome “as the leader of the Palestinian people here today.”
She also charged that the U.N. itself has been “elevating the tensions and grievances” and it should instead review the threat of the Islamic State.
“These immense security and humanitarian challenges throughout the region should occupy more of our attention, rather than having us sit here, month after month, and use the most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems. But here we go again,” Haley said.
Oh, and that U.S. decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move America’s embassy there?
Palestinian objections won’t make a difference, she said.