The United States says it wants to shift the focus of the UN’s monthly meeting on the Middle East.
The US holds the rotating presidency of the Council for the month of April.
Its Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, says she wants to shift the focus.
“Regrettably, these monthly meetings routinely turn into Israel-bashing sessions. That’s the way this Security Council has operated for years. It’s a formula that is absurdly biased against one country.”
She says the meetings do little to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The truth is these Security Council meetings don’t do anyone in the region any favors, least of all the Israelis and the Palestinians. These meetings do nothing to bring the parties closer together. They actually work to push the two sides apart.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, echoed her comments.
“I ask a simple question to those who insist on keeping the focus on Israel here in the Security Council. Is Israel at fault for the spread of ISIS? Is Israel to blame for the dire situation in Yemen? Is Israel responsible for the daily massacre in Syria? The answer is a resounding no.”
Mr Danon has welcomed efforts to widen the scope of the Security Council meetings and focus on what he says is the real danger in the Middle East: Syria.
“The time has come to finally put an end to the obsessive focus on Israel. The time has come to stop the scapegoating of the Jewish state for every war and conflict in our region. This council should remain focused on stopping the countries that support sadistic dictators who gas their own people.”
Russia last week blocked a Western-led effort at the UN Security Council to condemn the deadly gas attack in Idlib.
Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Petr Iliichev, disapproved of the US effort to change the focus of the Middle East meeting.
“We would like to express categorical disagreement with the attempts to tailor this meeting to the domestic context and exclusively to an American foreign policy focus. For example, in the concept note of this meeting, the name of which has traditionally been ‘the situation on the Middle East including the Palestinian question,’ our American colleagues have remained silent on this very Palestinian question. Furthermore, in the document prepared by the US delegation, we do not find any reflection in the danger from the threats posed by ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra, other extremist and terrorist groups of all kinds and those groups’ violence that causes suffering to civilians in Syria, Iraq and Libya.”