Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday lambasted the international body for its continued attacks on Israel but said that the United States was helping to cultivate more support for the Jewish state.
Speaking at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit at the Washington Convention Center, Haley railed against the United Nations’ response to recent violence at the Gaza border and reiterated the Trump administration’s pledge to factor U.N. votes into America’s foreign aid allocations.
“Many of the protesters in Gaza are anything but peaceful. If they were peaceful, there would be no burning tires, there would be no Molotov cocktails, there would be no flaming swastika kites flying into Israel, burning thousands of acres of land,” she said. “And, of course, if this was a peaceful movement, there would not be hundreds of rockets coming from Gaza into Israel.”
Last month, the U.N. General Assembly easily passed a resolution condemning “excessive use of force” by Israel at the Gaza border. The United States voted against the measure and vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council.
But Haley said the United Nations’ stance on Israel had seen some improvement. When she sought an amendment to the General Assembly resolution that would have explicitly criticized Hamas for inciting violence, it failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to pass, but it did win a majority, which Haley said was cause for tempered optimism.
“Consider that in the history of the U.N. General Assembly, there have been over 600 resolutions on the Israel-
Palestinian issue alone. And not one of them has ever mentioned Hamas,” she said. “For the first time, we made each country say whether they thought Hamas had any responsibility for the violence. For the first time, we named names and identified the real source of the conflict in Gaza. And to everyone’s surprise, more countries voted with us than against us.”
Haley’s speech followed remarks by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer and Pastor Jon Hagee, the right-wing televangelist who founded Christians United for Israel in 2006. According to Hagee, the organization’s 4.1 million members make it the largest Christian organization dedicated to cultivating political support for the Jewish state.
Haley, Dermer and Hagee each spoke glowingly of the two major moves the Trump administration has made regarding Israel: recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which Hagee called “the most deceptive document ever signed by an American president concerning Israel.”
And Dermer took a blustery tone on the Iranian regime, pledging that Israel would do what it deemed necessary to protect itself from Iranian aggression and encouraging the United States to increase pressure until “Iran’s nuclear ambitions are knocked out once and for all.”
“Anyone see President Trump’s tweet?” Dermer asked, referring to an all-caps threat to Iran of “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered.” Dermer continued, “Talk about a new sheriff in town. And this sheriff is making clear that the days when the most powerful nation on Earth will accept threats from Iran, those days are over.”
Hagee spoke of an increasing Iranian threat.
“Iran is still seeking to plant itself on Syria’s border with Israel. They’re building a jet strip 20 miles from Israel’s northern border. A jet strip for jet airplanes can only mean warfare,” Hagee said. “Iran is still the head of the snake in the Middle East. … We must ensure that Iran’s aggression is met with ever increasing sanctions. Keep up the pressure on Iran, Mr. President.”
For her part, Haley made little mention of Iran. But the crowd’s boisterous response to her remarks illustrated the support she’s garnered on the pro-Israel right.
As her speech was winding down, one attendee yelled out, “Nikki Haley 2024!” to which the crowd gave a prolonged cheer.
“Guys,” Haley responded, “I’m just trying to survive this job.”