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Don't Block Fayyad at the UN

Ben Fishman

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Foreign Affairs

February 24, 2017

Doing so will make two conflicts harder to resolve, and rob Libyans of the opportunity to take advantage of Fayyad's considerable skills as an institution-builder and reformer.

By blocking Salam Fayyad, a respected former Palestinian prime minister, from becoming the United Nation's new special envoy to Libya, President Trump's team undermined the UN's efforts to solve the crisis in Libya, kept a uniquely qualified candidate from taking on a role in which he might have had a real impact, and prevented the reemergence of a moderate Palestinian leader who could potentially play a major role in a future peace deal between Israel and Palestine. There is no question that Israel has been discriminated against at the United Nations for decades. But if Washington wants to rectify that treatment, blocking a respected international technocrat on the basis of his nationality is the wrong move: it will create further resentment at the same global body Israel is trying to win over, especially among its European members. It will also hinder the UN's ability to influence events on the ground in Libya...

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