Photo Credit: Loey Felipe/U.N. Photo
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, briefs reporters following a Security Council meeting about the Middle East on Feb. 20, 2024.

(JNS) “All told, we intend to do this the right way, so that we can create the right conditions for a safer, more peaceful future, and we will continue to actively engage in the hard work of direct diplomacy on the ground until we reach a final solution.”

So said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, talking to reporters on Feb. 20, the same day that Washington vetoed an Algerian draft resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.


The U.S. diplomat looked up from her written statement, apparently ad-libbing, when she said the last few words, including referring to a “final solution” in Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The “final solution,” or “The final solution to the Jewish question” in full, was a Nazi euphemism for the extermination of Jews.

Although the Biden administration has repeatedly chastised Israel for what it calls “dehumanizing” language toward Palestinians, Thomas-Greenfield has a reputation as one of the administration’s most ardent Israel supporters.

She was addressing reporters after Washington cast the lone vote against the Algeria-drafted resolution, and she has touted a freshly-drafted U.S. text that uses softer language, such as a “temporary ceasefire as soon as practicable.”

The U.S. mission to the United Nations did not respond to a JNS query about whether the ambassador regretted her words in hindsight.

A JNS source with direct knowledge said that it was an unfortunate choice of words, and that Thomas-Greenfield has alternated between using phrases like “durable solution” and “final resolution” to describe the preferred outcomes of ongoing negotiations.

The JNS source said that only “bad-faith actors” online have reacted negatively to the unfortunate phrasing.

Israel’s mission to the United Nations sees Thomas-Greenfield as a reliable, trusted partner, according to multiple sources who are part of the Israeli delegation. She has worked to build dialogue with the U.S. Jewish community during her time in New York.


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