TEL AVIV – U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed Arab states on Tuesday for paying “generous” lip service to the Palestinians while not actually giving them much in terms of aid money.
“No group of countries is more generous with their words than the Palestinians’ Arab neighbors and other OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) member states,” Haley told the Security Council. “But all of the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe, or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up.”
Haley then outlined the how much Arab and Islamic countries were donating to the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.
In 2017, Haley said, “Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero.”
“Last year, while Algeria was providing nothing to UNRWA, and Turkey was providing $6.7 million, the United States gave $364 million,” Haley continued. “That’s ten times the combined amounts from every country I just named.”
She added: “And that’s on top of what the American people give annually to the Palestinians in bilateral assistance. That was another $300 million last year, and it averages to more than a quarter of a billion dollars every year since 1993.”
And the lip service extended beyond matters of finance, Haley said.
“Where are the Arab countries when it comes to encouraging reconciliation between Palestinian factions, which is essential to peace?” she asked. “Where are the Arab countries when it comes to denouncing Hamas terrorism? Where are the Arab countries when it comes to supporting compromises that are necessary for peace?”
Claiming that the “Palestinian leadership has been allowed to live in a false reality for too long because Arab leaders are afraid to tell them the truth,” Haley asserted that the “United States is telling them the truth because we care about the Palestinian people.”
“It is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away,” she concluded.
The U.S. envoy also took China and Russia to task for talking “a big game about the Palestinian cause” but only giving $350,000 and $2 million respectively to UNRWA in 2017.
Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour responded by accusing Haley of speaking “in an arrogant way” that was offensive to the U.S.’s allies. He also accused the Jewish state of practicing “de jure apartheid” and said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon was a “representative of the Jim Crow laws of Israel.”