Newly instated US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley passed her first test today, showing loyalty to her country’s greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel. On Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that he would be naming former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as a special representative for Libya. In a letter rebuking the appointment and warning that the US would veto the appointment at the Security Council, she wrote:
The United States was disappointed to see a letter indicating the intention to appoint the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister to lead the UN Mission in Libya. For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the determinant of our allies in Israel. The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution. Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies.
The focus of the objections that Israel and the United States shared was not Fayyad himself, but rather the strong and lasting implications his appointment would have – as it would be tantamount to implicitly treating the Palestinian Authority as a member state of the UN.
This is a marked foreign policy shift in the US executive branch. Just a month and a half ago, under the Obama administration, the United States laid the groundwork for the passage of the grossly unjust and historically perverted UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which required nothing of the Palestinians, but rewarded them by designating the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount as “occupied territory” and deeming Israeli presence there a “flagrant violation under international law.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority continues to openly pay salaries to terrorists, and to indoctrinate its people with wretched hatred, as it steals international aid money for the benefit of its leaders.
Many of us are apprehensive about how the Trump administration will perform on the world stage: How will the Trump Show play overseas? Will Trump stand with Israel? And there have certainly been bumps in the road during the first few weeks of the administration. But this weekend, the president and his new UN ambassador passed their first test, by making clear that Israel will no longer be railroaded at the international body.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement, “The new administration proved once again that it stands firmly along the state of Israel in the international arena and in the UN in particular.”
It is also clear that under this new administration, the PA will have to do something before it gets anything. If the Palestinians want the US, Israel and the rest of the Western world to take their quest for statehood seriously, they need to drastically change their their policies and philosophy. The PA leadership can start by ceasing its financial and political support for terrorism; its rampant human rights violations both against it own people and the Jewish people; its indoctrination of children with hatred for their Jewish neighbors; and its failure to recognize that the Jewish people have the right to live in the land of Israel. Unfortunately, it has proven incapable of any of these things.
But at least now, Israel knows for certain that the new US administration actually has its back – not just in word, but in deed.