NEW YORK, New York - No country in the United Nations would act with more restraint than Israel has, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has told an emergency security council meeting in New York on Tuesday.
The meeting had been called to discuss the violence on the Gaza-Israeli border on Monday during which 60 unarmed Palestinian protesters were killed, and more than 2,700 were wounded.
"Today’s meeting was called to discuss the violence that some suggest was connected with yesterday’s opening of the United States’ embassy in Jerusalem. For some people, the embassy opening is said to be a reason to engage in violence. How is that justified?" the ambassador asked.
"As our President said when he announced the decision in December, the location of our embassy has no bearing on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. It has no bearing on Jerusalem’s holy sites. It does not prejudge whatever the parties might negotiate in a peace agreement. It does not undermine the prospects for peace in any way. And yet, for some, this is supposedly a cause for violence."
"But let’s remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy," Ms. Haley told the security council.
"In recent days, multiple news organizations have documented the Hamas incitement in Gaza. They have reported that Hamas maps and social media show the fastest routes to reach Israeli communities in case demonstrators make it through the security fence. They have reported on Hamas messages over loudspeakers that urge demonstrators to burst through the fence, falsely claiming Israeli soldiers were fleeing, when in fact, they were not. The same loudspeakers are used by Hamas to urge the crowds to “Get closer! Get closer!” to the security fence," the ambasador said, without revealing her source of the information.
"Hamas has attacked the Kerem Shalom crossing, the biggest entry point in Gaza for fuel, food, and medical supplies. This is how determined they are to make the lives of the Palestinian people miserable. They light Molotov cocktails attached to kites on fire and attempt to fly them into Israel to cause as much destruction as possible. When asked yesterday why he put a swastika on his burning kite, the terrorist responded, “The Jews go crazy when you mention Hitler.”
"This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake: Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday," the U.S. ambassador said.
"I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. In fact, the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained."
Ambassador Haley said those who suggest that Gaza violence has anything to do with the location of the American embassy are sorely mistaken. "Rather, the violence comes from those who reject the existence of the state of Israel in any location. Such a motivation – the destruction of a United Nations Member State – is so illegitimate as to not be worth our time in the Security Council, other than the time it takes to denounce it," she said.
"Yesterday’s opening of our embassy in Jerusalem is a cause for celebration for the American people. Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was the right thing to do. It reflects the will of the American people. It reflects our sovereign right to decide the location of our embassy – a right that everyone in this room claims for their own country. Importantly, moving our embassy to Jerusalem also reflects the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It has served as Israel’s capital since the founding of the state. It is the ancient capital of the Jewish people. There is no plausible peace agreement under which Jerusalem would no longer remain the capital of Israel. Recognizing this reality makes peace more achievable, not less," said Haley.
"The United States is prepared to support peace negotiations and a peace agreement in every way. We want nothing more than peace. A peace in which people of all faiths are free to worship in Jerusalem. A peace in which the rights of all people are respected, and the future prospects of all people is bright. That peace will only be achieved if it is rooted in the realities that too many choose to deny. The United States’ action yesterday promoted the reality and the desire for peace. It is our sincere wish that the nations of the world will join us in this pursuit of credible, realistic, and enduring peace."
In her concluding remarks, the U.S. ambassador to the UN congratulated Israel on their 70th anniversary.
"In this United Nations Security Council, on behalf of the American people, I congratulate our friends in Israel on the remarkable achievement of 70 years of independence. From humble and desperate beginnings, a proud people have realized the Prophet Isaiah’s vision of a light unto the nations. May the next 70 years be ones of strength, of hope, and of peace," she said.