by WorldTribune Staff, February 21, 2018
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said she will continue to “speak hard truths” after the Palestinian Authority’s top negotiator had told her to “shut up.”
Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, had said last month that Haley “needs to shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.”
Haley, in an address to the UN Security Council on Feb. 20, during which she responded to an earlier speech from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said “We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today. 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.”
Haley added that “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.”
Haley said Palestinians should be reminded of the “path of negotiation and compromise,” which she said has proved to be successful for Egypt and Jordan.
“That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it,” she said.
Haley also criticized the UN for “elevating the tensions and grievances” between Israel and the Palestinians, saying the UN’s time would be better spent facing Middle East threats such as Islamic State and Hizbullah.
“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.
Haley also said the Trump administration intends to follow through on its decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem despite opposition from the Palestinians.
“You don’t have to like that decision. You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept this,” she said. “But know this: That decision will not change.”