Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, on Saturday night spoke at the opening plenary session of the Israeli American Council (IAC) National Conference in Washington, DC and vowed to continue to work to stop the Israel bashing at the international organization.
She noted that Israel is “the country the United Nations spends half its time on. Unfortunately, I'm not kidding. It seems the breakdown at the UN is to spend half the time on Israel, and half the time on the other member nations.”
While the UN is a hostile place for Israel, said Haley, before she became ambassador she witnessed “a shameful period the United States became a part of that hostility”. She was referring to the passing of UN Resolution 2334, passed by the UN Security Council last December and which “branded Israel as a violator of international law.”
The United States allowing this motion to pass by not vetoing it “was a cowardly act; and a real low point for America at the UN. What happened with 2334 was a betrayal of our friend in the very forum that has been one of its cruelest and most hostile foes. America was far from being a friend to Israel on that day,” said Haley.
“I was still governor of South Carolina, but I came away from the passage of Resolution 2334 certain of one thing: As long as I was U.S. Ambassador, such an act of betrayal would never happen again,” she stressed.
Haley recalled that in the first meeting she attended as ambassador, the UN discussed Israel rather than the fighting in Syria or other pressing issues, adding “it was then that I vowed that the days of Israel bashing at the UN were over.”
She addressed the nuclear deal with Iran, which President Donald Trump did not recertify, describing it as “very very flawed...Iran is engaged in all kinds of bad behavior prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions, including building up Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
“The president's action has put the Iran deal back in play. We are now pushing the world to confront the totality of the threat by the Iranian regime” not just in its nuclear program, but in the way it backs terror groups and continues to test ballistic missiles, she continued.
“It's a new day at the UN. Slowly but surely, we're chipping away at the anti-Israel culture. Three weeks ago, the U.S. withdrew from UNESCO. For the U.S. it was a good call and after we considered UNESCO's pattern of one-sided resolutions, it was an easy call,” said Haley, who also stressed that Washington is against the UN Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) blacklist of companies that do business in Judea and Samaria.
“We need to be clear: This is a BDS blacklist, plain and simple. The United States has been opposed to this list from the start. We have not and will not contribute any information to its creation,” she stressed.
“All in all, I have to say that I am cautiously optimistic about the changes occurring in the culture at the UN. The Israel bashing hasn’t disappeared by any means. But it is less and less. And where it persists, the United States has used its leverage to force change,” she concluded.