JERUSALEM, Israel – US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized the UN Security Council on Tuesday for disproportionately targeting Israel during its monthly sessions.
“This Council spends a great deal of time on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is both understandable and consistent with the agenda. But far too often, the substance of these discussions is centered almost entirely around criticism of Israel and counterattacks,” she said in her address to the council
“I sincerely hope that going forward, Council members will do their best to take a more balanced approach. Also, there are other countries and situations in the region that merit Security Council attention and should not be neglected,” Thomas-Greenfield says.
Israel has long accused the UN of having anti-Israel bias, a claim that was reiterated by Nikki Haley, the United States’ former ambassador to the UN under the Trump administration.
Later in her speech, Thomas-Greenfield called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume peace talks through direct dialogue and said, “humanitarian actors need regular, predictable, and sustained access to Gaza.”
Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade on the coastal enclave, which is controlled by the Hamas terror organization. Israel says the blockade is needed to keep weapons out of Gaza, but critics say it amounts to collective punishment on Gaza’s impoverished civilians.
Thomas-Greenfield urged countries to support Palestinian refugees through the UN agency UNRWA, but called on the organization to “undertake the necessary reforms to ensure its financial sustainability.” UNRWA is accused of corruption and anti-Israel bias.
She also demanded that Hamas end its “cruel detention of two Israeli civilians,” and return the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.
The ambassador expressed deep concern over recent violent attacks on Palestinians by Israelis living in settlement communities in the West Bank – biblical Judea and Samaria.
She urged the Israeli government to investigate the attacks, “including the response by Israeli security forces,” who have been accused of standing by as the attacks against Palestinians unfold.
Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz urged the military to act “systemically, aggressively and uncompromisingly” following reports of radical settlement residents attacking Palestinians and IDF soldiers.
While the US and Israel disagree on how to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the US has vowed to defend Israel against disproportionate attacks at the UN.
Last week, the US was elected to re-join the UN Human Rights Council after the Trump administration withdrew from the council and accused it of unfairly singling out Israel.
Thomas-Greenfield said the Biden administration would oppose the council’s “disproportionate attention on Israel.”