US Ambassador to UN in First Visit to Jerusalem Discusses Anti-Israel Bias, Antisemitism
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other senior government officials during her first visit to Israel to discuss cooperation between the two countries at the UN.
Bennett called Thomas-Greenfield a voice of reason in an institution otherwise biased in its treatment of Israel, saying he hoped she would see during her trip the “stark contrast between the reality on the ground here and what one might hear in the corridors of the United Nations.”
“I know that you have always been standing up for us, you and the United States, throughout the years, standing on Israel’s side and serving as a voice of truth,” Bennett said. “I hope that during your visit you will get a better picture of the unique challenges we face here, with Iranian-backed terrorist groups across our borders.”
Thomas-Greenfield said that US President Joe Biden shares Bennett’s commitment to a “new spirit of cooperation as we address the full range of regional and global challenges together.”
“We discussed our close cooperation at the UN working to combat antisemitism and anti-Israel bias and our approach to shared regional threats,” she added. “We believe Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve equal measures of freedom, prosperity, security, and dignity. This is important in its own right and as a means to advance prospects for a two-state solution.”
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the UN envoy a “true friend who fights shoulder-to-shoulder with us in one of the more complex arenas in the international community.”
“Our friendship is based not only on mutual interests, but on shared values and a shared worldview,” Lapid said.
Thomas-Greenfield remarked that she was “encouraged to hear about the tangible progress of the Abraham Accords.”
“The United States will continue to encourage countries in the region to normalize relations and expand cooperation with Israel, including at the UN,” she announced.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog hosted Thomas-Greenfield at his Jerusalem residence together with Israel’s Ambassador at the UN, Gilad Erdan, and thanked her for standing by the country’s side in the body, including during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May this year.
Herzog and Thomas-Greenfield discussed global and regional strategic affairs, with the president emphasizing that Israel seeks collaborations with the US to promote innovative environmental technologies.
Following a meeting with Israeli Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli, Thomas-Greenfield noted that, like the Biden administration, Israel views infrastructure as a “national security” issue. Thomas-Greenfield also commended Michaeli’s work in advancing gender equality.
Marking her first visit to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, Thomas-Greenfield tweeted that she was “deeply moved.”
“Thank you to all those involved in creating this institution devoted to Holocaust remembrance and education and to combating Holocaust denial and distortion,” the UN envoy said.
Her Israeli counterpart Erdan, who also attended the Yad Vashem visit, commented, “We heard the shocking stories and saw the awful sights that can never be forgotten, illustrating why Israel can never rely on anyone else for security. We will continue promoting initiatives against antisemitism at the UN.”