US envoy to UN – Stop focusing on Israel

Yes there is a problem with individuals’ violence against Palestinians but Israel has real security concerns the UN is ignoring, says Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The American ambassador to the UN told off the Security Council Tuesday for focusing almost exclusively on Israel when there are bigger issues at stake, while not letting Jerusalem off the hook for settlers’ alleged mistreatment of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who visited Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan earlier this month, began with Jerusalem’s point of view, saying, “Israelis … shared with me their concern that the United Nations is intrinsically biased against Israel,” she said. “They interpret the overwhelming focus on Israel in this body as a denial of Israel’s right to exist and an unfair focus on this one country — and they are correct.”

The very fact that the UNSC discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict every month instead of focusing on “all areas that threaten international peace and security,” such as Lebanon or Iran, is indicative of the problem, she noted. “Israel does not define the Middle East.”

Mentioning that she had seen “first-hand” how the Jewish state “is subjected to regular attacks by terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, both of whom are funded by Iran,” Thomas-Greenfield said that “The impact of Iran’s regional malfeasance, nuclear aspirations, and hatred for Israel cannot be ignored.”

The U.S. envoy balanced her defense of Israel with criticism of “settlement expansion,” which she said “has reached a critical juncture and it is now undermining even the very viability of a negotiated two-state solution.”

While Jerusalem’s District Planning and Building Committee had recently approved the construction of some 9,000 homes on the site of the former Atarot airport on the edge of the city, the government subsequently told the Biden administration that it would not go forward with the project, considering Washington’s objections.

Thomas-Greenfield also slammed anti-Arab violence in Judea and Samaria, saying that she had “heard stories about Israeli settlers attacking Palestinians, ransacking homes, and destroying property in the West Bank.”

In general, she said, Israel and the PA “are locked in a spiral of distrust,” and suggested that the UN can play a constructive role that could help restart a peace process. To help regain Palestinian trust, it could encourage the Israeli government to provide more work and building permits, and humanitarian and reconstruction aid for the Gaza Strip, she said. To regain Israeli confidence, the UNSC could ensure that none of the aid gets siphoned off to Hamas, enforce its own resolutions against Iran, and denounce incitement to violence by both terrorist organizations and individuals.