In advance of the meeting, Haley circulated a "concept note" to members of the Council requesting participants to shift the focus to "the regional players that most benefit from chaos in the region, and what are the connections between terrorist groups and these states". Members of the Security Council, as well as other UN member states and observers invited to participate, promptly ignored her entreaty.
Palestinian representative, Riyad Mansour, immediately attacked Israel and referred to convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a "political leader." Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon responded soon after by holding up a photograph of one of Barghouti's victims and pointing out Mansour was glorifying a murderer.
Haley focused her remarks on the threats presented by Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah, while also chastising the Council for its obsession with Israel.
In her words:
"If we are speaking honestly about conflict in the Middle East, we need to start with the chief culprit: Iran and its partner militia, Hizballah. Iran and Hizballah conspire together to destabilize the Middle East, and their actions are expanding. For decades, they have committed terrorist acts across the region. Today, they prop up Bashar al-Assad's brutality, fighting alongside his forces, adding to the killing of thousands of civilians and the misery of millions of refugees. They train deadly militias in Iraq and arm Houthi militants in Yemen."
Following Haley, however, speakers continued the usual pattern of demonizing Israel while paying only lip-service to the mass atrocities elsewhere in the Middle East. For instance:
- Russia chastised the U.S. for attempting to shift the discussion to America's "domestic context" – a classic antisemitic trope that caring about antisemitism, including the discriminatory treatment of Israel at the UN, is some kind of "Jewish issue" and must be the result of Jewish political pressure;
- Venezuela, speaking on behalf of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement (composed of 119 of the UN's member states), accused Israel of "willful killing and injury of civilians, including peaceful protestors." The accusation took place the day after the Venezuelan government violently cracked down on local protests, killing two;
- Syria launched an antisemitic tirade, stating that "the history of Zionism is itself a history of terrorism" based on "a legend of a religious state", that Israel and terrorism are "two sides of the same coin," and called Israel a "racist entity" comparable to 'Daesh' (ISIS);
- Iran accused Israel of apartheid and war crimes, while defending Syria's Assad against the charge of launching a chemical attack; and
- Morocco and Saudi Arabia expressed outrage at the "Judaization" of Jerusalem.
- Sweden spent most of its speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and condemning Israeli settlements; the representative made only passing mention of violence against Israelis - which he blamed on Israeli settlements; and
- The representative of the European Union spent the vast majority of his speech focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, before concluding with "a few words on Syria." Notwithstanding upwards of 500,000 dead in Syria, chemical weapons used to kill Syrian civilians, systematic torture by the Syrian government, and a missile program in Iran that threatens Europe, the European Union evidently believes Israel is the biggest threat to MidEast peace.