U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley indirectly threatened on Tuesday to withdraw U.S. support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Asked by a journalist about continued U.S. funding for the UN agency, she stated that President Donald Trump doesnt want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table. The Palestinians now have to show the world they want to come to the table. As of now, theyre not coming to the table but they ask for aid.
Though Haley didnt refer to the UN agency by name and it is unclear if she specifically meant it or other U.S. funding for the Palestinians – and a spokesman for the agency said it hadnt been informed by the United States of any changes in its funding policies – critics of UNRWA applauded Haleys remarks.
It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Her comments came after the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn President Donald Trumps recognition last month of Jerusalem as Israels capital. They also came in tandem with Trump tweets saying that we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect, and with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
The UN agency has been a lightning rod of controversy for decades, harshly criticized by Israel and its advocates. Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went as far last June as to call for it to be dismantled.