U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to the U.N. condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel during her Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year veteran the foreign service, told the Senate committee:
“I find the actions and the approach that BDS has taken toward Israel as unacceptable. It verges on anti-Semitic, and it’s important that they not be allowed to have a voice at the U.N., and I intend to work against that,” she said.
The flashpoint issue at the hearing turned out to be not Israel but China. She was questioned about remarks she had made which seemed to indicate she was soft on China. In an October 2019 speech, she seemed to downplay China’s expansionist ambitions and its investments across Africa, which critics have called “debt diplomacy.”
But at the hearing she told senators that “China is a strategic adversary and their actions threaten our security, they threaten our way of life,” Thomas-Greenfield said in seeking to reassure lawmakers that she will not be soft on China. “They’re a threat across the globe,” according to USAToday.
Thomas-Greenfield served as ambassador to Liberia and was posted in Pakistan and Kenya. In 2013, she was appointed assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs.
Her appointment comes as the U.S. prepares to chair the Security Council starting in March. While she has no substantial record on Israel, she is expected to represent the policies of the Biden administration in the Middle East.
Updated Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:42 am .