The United States ambassador to the United Nations told a Washington audience of Israeli-Americans Saturday night that she will not tolerate anti-Israel bias that has long existed in that international body.
“As long as I am at my post, Israel will not be alone,” said ambassador Nikki Haley while speaking at the Israeli American Council’s national conference, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
In an 18-minute address, Haley criticized a series of anti-Israel actions the UN recently took and told the audience of what she has done in the last 10 months to change the culture there when it comes to the Jewish state.
Haley, who took over the position in January after being appointed by President Donald Trump, said she saw the UN’s negative feelings toward Israel up close as early as February, when she had her first meeting with the Security Council. She said instead of discussing threats from ISIS in Iraq or the civil war in Syria, they only discussed Israel. Soon after that meeting, she said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that he would appoint a Palestinian to a high post within the UN.
“I reminded the secretary-general that neither the U.S. nor the UN recognizes a Palestinian state,” she said. “The nomination was pulled.”
Haley then went on to note that the author of a report labeling Israel an apartheid state resigned after she approached Guterres about it, and the secretary-general withdrew the report.
“These were tests of our determination to change the culture at the UN, and we passed,” she said.
Most of Haley’s criticism during the speech was directed at the UN itself, but at one point she criticized past U.S. leadership for not condemning a December 2016, which declared Israel’s settlement activity to be a violation of international law. The UN Security Council unanimously passed the resolution, with the United States abstaining.
Haley did not refer to her predecessor, former UN ambassador Samantha Power, by name. But she called the resolution a “cowardly act” and said the United States “became part of the hostility” toward Israel by abstaining.
“Friends can have disagreements and still be friends,” she said. “As long as I am ambassador, such an act of betrayal would never happen again.”
Haley did single out former President Barack Obama later, however, when she criticized the Iran Nuclear Deal, which was signed in 2015 by the United States, Iran, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union.
Haley said the “Obama echo chamber” has created a fantasy world about the deal in that the agreement aims to roll back the country’s nuclear weapons program, but still does not stop Iran from testing ballistic missiles or supporting Israel’s enemies, such has Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“For too long Iran has known that as long as it stays in technical compliance, the Security Council and the rest of the world will do nothing about its lawless behavior,” she said.
Haley said it was the right decision for the United States to withdraw from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization earlier this month over its anti-Israel Bias. She said the U.S. may also withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, which too has been “notorious” for singling out the Jewish state. A clear example, she said, was the recent creation of a blacklist that keeps track of companies operating in Israeli settlements –an action she thinks is a part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
“We need to be clear, this is a BDS blacklist, plain and simple,” she said. “We have not and will not contribute to its creation.”