Image of US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (C) in New York, US on 16 May, 2017
By Ramona Wadi
US Ambassador Nikki Haley is on another mission to block Palestinian visibility at the UN. In February, the US opposed the appointment of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya. On Tuesday, Haley explained that the US position was based on the fact that the US does not recognise Palestinian statehood.
“If we don’t recognise Palestine as a state, we need to acknowledge also that we could not sit there and put a Palestinian forward until the US changed its determination on that front,” she told the Times of Israel. The approach has not changed, as Haley declared she would “block” a senior Palestinian role at the UN.
The US and Israel have flaunted their collaboration at the international organisation with relish. While a shard of caution was employed for the sake of diplomacy during previous administrations, US President Donald Trump has cast aside such necessity and the UN has not flinched. On the contrary, it has continued its trend of appointing Israeli officials to senior positions, the latest being Danny Danon’s appointment as vice president to the UN Security Council starting in September.
The greatest farce, however, is that opposition to American and Israeli demands will likely go unchallenged. At an international level, there is no interest in Palestinian representation or promotion as this contradicts the widely-disseminated narrative of Palestinians necessitating an external interlocutor. It cannot be expected that the international community opposes US aims; after all, Haley’s insistence reduces the need for asserting Palestinian recognition. Indeed, UN Resolution 2334 might have provided the perfect foundations for ceasing to apply further pressure; the belated and timely refusal to wield the US veto has created a new and more resonant form of silence which the international community has welcomed, with the exception of a few countries, such as Bolivia.
Meanwhile, the PA is too busy with its shameless incarceration of Palestinians in Gaza to even voice a sliver of displeasure. Palestine’s isolation is becoming evident in every sphere from an international presence to local obliteration. At the UN, the PA has distanced itself from the Palestinian population and serves only its own role and interests. If ever Palestinian officials from the PA are appointed to senior positions, the gap between personal prestige and representation is likely to be magnified. Fayyad’s nomination, albeit for the post of a UN envoy, could have highlighted Palestinian rights and demands. Moreover, it could have emphasised recognition of a Palestinian role in the international community, but this is something that the US is loath to encourage.
Haley’s statement and PA acquiescence have continued to consolidate the UN as an ineffective platform for Palestinians. The organisation itself is already flawed, yet, unlike other leaders, the PA has even failed to capitalise on the existence of an international platform to enhance Palestine’s presence. It has instead opted to maintain a duplicitous profile; defeated as regards Palestinian rights and efficient when it comes to aligning itself with entities that demand silence on anything related to Palestine. As Haley continues to block any possible avenue for the Palestinian profile to be raised, the PA should consider itself relieved of the duties that it performs with such dull and perfunctory precision in annihilating the expression of the people it claims to represent.
(Source / 29.06.2017)