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Tipsheet

Nikki Haley: Israel Wants a Peace Agreement But Doesn't Need It

As UN Ambassador Nikki Haley prepares to leave her position later this month, she gave one last impassioned address Tuesday to the UN Security Council that provided a glimpse of the U.S. plan for a peace agreement in the Middle East.

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Haley said that the UN has “shown itself to be hopelessly biased” against Israel. She cited the UN General Assembly’s recent failure to condemn Hamas’s terrorist actions against Israel.

She then discussed the prospects for a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians and what was at stake for both parties.

“Israel will not make a peace agreement at just any price, and it shouldn’t,” she said. “No UN resolutions, anti-Semitic boycotts, or terrorist threats will ever change that. Throughout its existence, and even today, Israel has been surrounded by threats to its security. It would be foolish for it to make a deal that weakened its security.”

“And yet, even in the face of constant threats, Israel has become one of the leading nations in the world,” she emphasized. “Israel wants a peace agreement, but it doesn’t need one.”

She contrasted Israel’s position with that of the Palestinians which she said is “very different.”

“They too do not need to accept a peace agreement at any price. But the condition of the Palestinian people is very different,” she said. “The Palestinian people are suffering terribly while their leadership clings to 50-year-old demands that have only become less and less realistic. What awaits the Palestinian people with a peace agreement are the prospects of a massive improvement in the quality of their lives and far greater control over their political future.”

“It is time we faced a hard truth: both sides would benefit greatly from a peace agreement, but the Palestinians would benefit more, and the Israelis would risk more,” she concluded.

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Haley said she has read the new U.S. peace plan which has not yet been shown to Israeli and Palestinian leaders or Congress. 

She said the plan “recognizes the realities on the ground in the Middle East have changed – and changed in very powerful and important ways” and “embraces the reality that things can be done today that were previously unthinkable.”

Haley said the plan will be different from all previous plans but that the “critical question is whether the response will be any different.”

“There are things in the plan that every party will like, and there are things in the plan that every party will not like,” she acknowledged.

She cautioned that if parties reject the plan because they don’t like everything in it “then we would return back to the failed status quo of the last 50 years with no prospects for change.”

Haley also emphasized Americans’ commitment to peace in the Middle East.

“The world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support of Israel, its people, and its security,” she said. “That is an unshakeable bond between our two peoples. And it is that bond – more than anything else – that makes peace possible.”

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