Netanyahu Confirms He Objected to Salam Fayyad's UN Appointment

'Palestinians can't be getting freebies all the time,' prime minister tells cabinet.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting, February 12, 2107.
Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that he opposed former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's now-blocked United Nations appointment.

Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting that he was briefed on the impending appointment several days ago.

"I said that the time has come for parity in the attitude toward Israel, and that the Palestinian side can't be given freebies all the time," he said. "The time has come for the Israeli side to get status and appointments if [Fayyad] is tapped" for the position of special UN envoy to Libya. 

On Saturday it emerged that Knesset Member Tzipi Livni was offered a senior position at the UN as well, a day after U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley vetoed Fayyad's appointment.

During Sunday's cabinet meeting, Culture Minister Miri Regev interrupted Netanyahu to ask whether he meant that "Tzipi Livni is a worthy and appropriate appointment, adding she is "not sure it's the right appointment." The prime minister did not respond.   

If Livni accepts the UN chief's offer and her appointment is approved by the Security Council, she will become the first Israeli to serve as a UN under-secretary-general.