U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley indicated Tuesday that she was not going to follow the advice of a top Palestinian negotiator who told her that she should “shut up.”
Haley’s comments came as she was addressing the U.N. Security Council. Prior to her remarks, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also spoke before the council to call for a two-state solution to solve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, he left the chamber before Haley talked.
Earlier this month, Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Haley “needs to shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.
But on Tuesday, Haley noted that she has no intention of doing so.
“We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today,” Haley said of Abbas, who at that point had already left. “But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up.”
“Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths. The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. 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 added.
Haley, accompanied by President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East — Jason Greenblatt — as well as White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, emphasized that the U.S. is ready to help negotiate a deal between Israel and Palestine.
America, though, has no intention of “chasing” after the Palestinians.
“Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk. But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours,” Haley stated, as reported by CNN.
The U.N. ambassador also addressed Palestinian opposition to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, indicating that the U.S. has taken a stance, and will not back down.
“You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept it. But know this. That decision will not change,” she said.
Moreover, Haley took aim at the U.N.’s attitude toward Israel, saying that the body is “grossly biased” toward the Jewish state. The U.N. could be focusing on “immense security and humanitarian challenges throughout the region,” she said. Instead, it’s using “the most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems.”
Haley’s speech stood in stark contrast to the comments delivered by Abbas, who blasted the U.S. for both failing to clarify its stance on a two-state solution and for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, CNN reported.
“We met with the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, four times in 2017, and we have expressed our absolute readiness to reach a historic peace agreement,” Abbas said. “Yet, this administration has not clarified its position. Is it for the two-state solution or the one-state solution?”
He also called the Jerusalem decision “unlawful.”
“In a dangerous, unprecedented manner, this administration undertook an unlawful decision which was rejected by the international community to remove the issue of Jerusalem off the table without any reason,” Abbas said.
But the Palestinian leader’s decision to leave following his speech was criticized.
“I expected Mr. Abbas to stay with us and have a dialogue, unfortunately he’s once again running away,” said Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. “Look what just happened in this room. Mr. Abbas came in, he put his demands on the table, and he left, and he’s expecting you to deliver the results. It’s not going to work that way. The only way to move forward is to have direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.