Kuwait blocks UN criticism of Abbas’ anti-Semitism

Kuwait blocked a UN Security Council condemnation of Abbas’ anti-Semitic rant, further undermining the UN’s shaky credibility.

By: AP

Kuwait blocked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday from issuing a US-sponsored statement sharply criticizing Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for what Washington called “vile anti-Semitic slurs and baseless conspiracy theories.”

Kuwait is the Arab representative on the 15-member council, and two diplomats said it opposed the press statement on grounds that it was not comprehensive. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because consultations were private.

Abbas issued an apology earlier Friday over remarks in his speech Monday to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) parliament, which was sharply condemned as anti-Semitic by Israel, the US, UN, European Union and others.

In the lengthy speech, he said it was the Jews’ “social function,” including money lending, which caused animosity toward them in Europe. He also described the creation of Israel as a European colonial project, saying “history tells us there is no basis for the Jewish homeland.”

Undermining the UN’s credibility

US Ambassador Nikki Haley was sharply critical of the Security Council’s failure to respond.

“Disgusting anti-Semitic statements from the Palestinian leadership obviously undermine the prospects for Middle East peace,” she said in a statement. “When the Security Council cannot reach consensus on denouncing such actions, it only further undermines the UN’s credibility in addressing this critical issue.”

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The proposed statement, obtained by The Associated Press, would have expressed the Security Council’s “firm and unequivocal rejection of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial” and called on Abbas “to refrain from anti-Semitic comments.”

The draft would also have recalled “that anti-Semitism has historically contributed to threats to international peace and security, mass atrocities, and widespread violations of human rights.”