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Trump’s pick for UN envoy vows to fight anti-Israel bias
“Without US leadership, our partners and allies would be vulnerable to bad actors at the UN. This is particularly true in the case of Israel, which is the subject of unrelenting bias and hostility in UN venues,” says Kelly Knight Craft.
by Yoni Hersch , News Agencies , Israel Hayom Staff, June 20,2019:
US President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next American envoy to the United Nations vowed on Wednesday to continue pushing for reform at the world body and to fight against anti-Israel resolutions and bias by the UN and its agencies.
Kelly Knight Craft is aiming to take over the post some six months after Nikki Haley left the role at the world body.
During Haley’s two-year-tenure, the Trump administration withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency citing their habit of adopting positions hostile to Israel.
However, Craft made a case for America returning to a leading role at Turtle Bay as a way of protecting Israel.
“Without US leadership, our partners and allies would be vulnerable to bad actors at the UN. This is particularly true in the case of Israel, which is the subject of unrelenting bias and hostility in UN venues,” she said in her opening testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting.
“The United States will never accept such bias, and if confirmed I commit to seizing every opportunity to shine a light on this conduct, call it what it is, and demand that these outrageous practices finally come to an end.”
Craft is a longtime GOP activist from Kentucky who is currently US ambassador to Canada. She would be the first major political donor to be named to the UN post.
As ambassador to Canada, Craft has been credited with playing a major role in helping to secure a proposed new trade agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico but has been criticized for frequent absences from Ottawa. She testified that all of her travel had been approved in advance by the State Department and that she and her husband had paid for all personal trips.
Craft, who in the past said that withdrawing from the Paris agreement did not mean the Trump administration was ceding a leadership role on climate change, told the committee that climate change is a “real risk to our planet” that must be addressed.
She said that she believes human behavior has contributed to climate change and she’ll push countries to deal with it. However, she also said the United States should not have to bear an “outsized burden” in mitigating its effects that harm US economic growth.
“If confirmed, I will be an advocate for addressing climate change,” Craft said.
Her comments came in response to questions from Democrats on the panel prompted by previous remarks she made doubting the causes and severity of climate change. Democrats are also concerned about possible conflicts of interest as she holds extensive investments in fossil fuels.
The Trump administration has been criticized by environmentalists and scientists for rolling back regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and announcing its withdrawal, effective next year, from the Paris Climate Accord that aimed to limit climate change.
In addition to climate change, Craft also faced questions from Democrats about her relative lack of diplomatic experience, which her Republican supporters said was belied by her two years as serving as the top envoy to a close ally and neighbor.
Trump nominated Craft to replace Haley after his first choice for the job, former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew from consideration.
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