US President Joe Biden’s nominee for America’s ambassador to the UN has denounced the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Linda Thomas-Greenfield pledged to fight what she called “bias” against the Zionist state at the international forum if confirmed in the position.
Echoing the kind of hostility towards pro-Palestinian activism displayed openly by the administration of Biden’s predecessor, Thomas-Greenfield said at her Senate confirmation hearing: “I look forward to standing with Israel, standing against the unfair targeting of Israel, the relentless resolutions proposed against Israel unfairly.” She added that she is also planning to work with her Israeli counterparts to bolster the colonial state’s security and “to widen the circle of peace.”
Asked about the BDS movement, Thomas-Greenfield replied that she finds the “actions and approach” taken by its supporters to be “unacceptable” and warned that the campaign “verges” on [anti-Semitism]. “It’s important that they not be allowed to have a voice at the UN, and I intend to work against that.”
Commenting on the so-called “Abraham Accords” the would-be ambassador said that she is hopeful that those countries that have recognised Israel under the agreements will also see some opportunities to be “more cooperative” at the UN and “more supportive” of Israel’s presence there.
Attacks against the UN and the BDS movement were a common feature of the Trump administration. The claim that the UN is biased against Israel was a tactic used frequently by the disgraced former US President to undermine the world body.
In 2018, Ambassador Nikki Haley pulled the US out of the UN Human Rights Council, accusing it of a “chronic bias against Israel.” Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also branded the BDS movement as anti-Semitic in what many regarded as an assault on the First Amendment of the American constitution which guarantees the right to free-speech.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield served as the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa under President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017. She led US policy on sub-Saharan Africa during a period of tumultuous upheaval, including the deadly 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.