Nikki Haley rails against Arab states over Palestinian aid


Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, has a long history of opposing Palestine at the UN, whether in the General Assembly or through the Security Council, and of supporting Israel’s lethal actions against Palestinians on the Gaza Strip, most notably during the recent massacres which took place during the Great March of Return, during which many dozens were killed and thousands more injured. But now she’s slamming Arab and Islamic states for not contributing enough aid for Palestinians, even as the US is this year cutting tens of millions of dollars from the UN’s Relief and Works Agency. Meanwhile, the UAE and Kuwait, two of America’s allies, are in the top five as regards contributions as a percentage of the country’s total financial ability, while the US comes in somewhere around 16th.

Reuters reports:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday slammed Arab and Islamic states for talking a lot about supporting the Palestinians but not giving more money to help, calling out countries like Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Haley listed how much those countries, along with Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Oman, Iran and Turkey, had given – or not given – to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which helps Palestinian refugees. Washington, long the biggest donor, cut its aid to $60 million from a promised $365 million this year.

“No group of countries is more generous with their words than the Palestinians’ Arab neighbours, and other OIC member states,” Haley told a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East, citing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“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,” she said.

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Haley had insulted U.S. allies “in an arrogant way.”

Haley also called out China and Russia for talking “a big game about the Palestinian cause” but providing only $350,000 and $2 million respectively to UNRWA in 2017. China’s U.N. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu told the council: “We have no intention of competing with any other countries.”

Haley said it was time for the “regional states in particular to step up.”

According to IRIN, a nonprofit that reports on humanitarian issues, the UAE and Kuwait were ranked in the top five most generous aid donors compared with national income globally in 2017, while the United States came in at 16.

“Sometimes the numbers and facts talk for themselves,” said Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi.

UAE U.N. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh agreed with Haley that real action was needed to assist the Palestinian people.

“With our total donation of more than $125 million just last year, we believe that we are doing our part to address the immediate needs of the Palestinians,” she said.

U.S. President Donald Trump withheld UNRWA aid after questioning its value and saying the Palestinians needed to agree to renew peace talks with Israel, while the State Department said UNRWA needed to make unspecified reforms.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, said late last month that Washington would announce its Middle East peace plan soon.

“It is now gone about a year since we discussed this here and we were informed about plans and we haven’t seen it yet, Sweden’s U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog, president of the Security Council for July, told reporters. “I think there is a problem that there’s no credible plan on the table.”

This isn’t the only area where the US berates its allies over contributions to international organizations. Trump has been blasting Germany throughout his tenure over Germany’s contributions to NATO, which are supposed to be about 2% of its GDP. Recently, at a NATO summit, Trump continued to lambaste the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, over Germany’s contribution, and suggested even that the figure should even be increased to double, at about 4%. Meanwhile, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been touring the Middle East in a bid to gain support for an alleged peace deal, which involves Palestinians surrendering east Jerusalem to Israel, and taking up a spurious program of settlement. The US has also been supportive of Israel’s apartheid type rule in the region, as well as its encroachments into Palestinian and Syrian areas and the construction of illegal settlements.

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