Condemn Hamas terror rockets against Israel rather than perpetually condemning the Jewish state, U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt said Thursday as he slammed “baffling” anti-Israel sentiment at the U.N.
“Instead of seeking accountability for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, terrorist groups that seek to blackmail the Israeli people through mass violence while putting the lives of the Palestinians of Gaza at risk, we are rehashing tired talking points, some 20 years old,” Greenblatt told a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) in New York.
In an unusual move, Greenblatt appeared at the UNSC gathering, known as an Arria-formula meeting. It was organized by Indonesia, which holds the rotating UNSC presidency this month. Indonesia invited four guest speakers to brief UNSC member on West Bank settlement activity and invited Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki to address the gathering.
Israel was not invited to speak.
The meeting was the latest broadside at Israel from the world body, where Israeli actions are regularly the focus of condemnation — leading to claims from the U.S. and Israel that the world body is fundamentally biased against the Middle East democracy.
In March a rally was organized outside the United Nations Humans Rights Council (UNHRC) headquarters in Geneva to reinforce the point that Israel seems to be the focus of an untoward amount of condemnation, yet Palestinian terror group Hamas has not been condemned by name.
Greenblatt said it was “baffling and disappointing to see the obvious, continual anti-Israel bias at the U.N.” and its agencies.
He drew attention to the U.S. effort to get the U.N. General Assembly to condemn Hamas rocket attacks in December — a move that ultimately failed in the assembly hall.
“It is truly shameful that in these halls there have been nearly 700 resolutions condemning actions of Israel, the region’s only real democracy, yet not one condemning Hamas’ attacks on Israelis or its abuse and neglect of the very people it claims to represent,” he said.
Greenblatt criticized the decision not to invite Israel to the meeting, calling it “surprising and unfair” and called on U.N. members to make a real effort to bring peace to the region. The Trump administration is expected to reveal its plan for peace in the Middle East later this year.
“We hope to present our vision soon,” Greenblatt said. “In the meantime, we will continue to speak the truth, even where it is not welcome.”
Greenblatt took aim at the notion that settlements are to blame for a lack of a peace deal: “Let’s stop pretending that settlements are what is keeping the sides from a negotiated peaceful solution. This farce and obsessive focus on one aspect of this complicated conflict helps no one.”