This Senate letter of last Thursday, signed by all hundred senators, berates the UN Secretary General over criticism of Israel at the U.N. and supports Ambassador Nikki Haley’s determination to root out “anti-Israel bias” and “anti-Semitism in all its forms” — which means undue focus of Israel. The U.N.’s actions on Israel, the senators say,
have at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism.
All 100 Senators line up behind two Trump officials. First, Nikki Haley:
We commend the words of our nation’s ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, who recently stated, “It is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change.”
Haley made that comment in a February 17 appearance at which she characterized the UN Security Council resolution against settlements of last December, which the Obama administration allowed to pass, as a “terrible mistake.” Is this really the sort of policy that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, the valiant progressives of the Democratic Party, wish to endorse? Dianne Feinstein was one of the few senators to praise Obama for the settlements resolution. Couldn’t she have just said no when this letter came to her desk from Marco Rubio?
The senators also laud Erin Barclay, a deputy assistant secretary of State, who recently trashed the UN Human Rights Council for focusing on Israel not Syria:
The obsession with Israel …is the largest threat to the Council’s credibility. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this Council.
The senators actually echo Barclay on “obsession/mockery.”
I thank all 100 US senators for standing up for Israel at the UN. #keepit100
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) April 28, 2017
The letter was first reported by the Washington Post, with a bit of jaundice from Anne Gearan, who points out how unusual the letter is:
The unusual unanimity expands on the fierce denunciation of U.N. treatment of Israel mounted by Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, this year. The letter praises Haley for that effort, which she has said is intended to show that the United States will not “put up with” the bashing of its close ally.
The letter hails UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for quashing the recent report stating that Israel is practicing apartheid (prepared by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia). And in turn, the Senate letter is saluted in the Post by Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, and by a spokesperson for AIPAC, too. What a crowd. You’d think in the 50th year of occupation, and the 100 days of Trump, there would be a bit of dissent in US public life. No.