JERUSALEM – President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick for UN envoy Nikki Haley this week slammed what she called the UN’s bias against Israel and the international body’s failure to address other, more pressing world problems.
During her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Haley, currently serving as the governor of South Carolina, said the outgoing Obama administration allowed the UN to “mistreat” Israel and has a long record of unfairly focusing on the Jewish state.
Haley also called last month’s Security Council resolution against Israel a “kick in the gut.” The US abstained from the vote on Resolution 2334, a move that ensured it would pass. The resolution referred to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territories and it demanded a complete halt to all Israeli construction in those areas.
During her hearing, Haley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that passage of the resolution showed that “being an ally of the United States doesn’t mean anything,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
“I will not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel,” she told the committee. “I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.”
“We made Israel more vulnerable – we made America more vulnerable in that we did not stand by our allies,” Haley said, promising “moral clarity” from Washington’s mission to the UN under her leadership.
According to the Post, Haley spent a lot of time considering what actions the incoming administration might take to roll back Resolution 2334.
Haley’s strategy, the paper reported, is one of leveraging American financial assistance to UN bodies.
The incoming UN envoy told the senate committee that she “absolutely” supports Trump’s pledge to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to the LA Times.
But when asked she saw Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace, Haley said she could see this point of view.
“I do understand how they think that [the settlements] can hinder peace,” she said. “But, at the same time, I will always stand with Israel.”
Since Resolution 2334 passed last month, both outgoing President Barack Obama and outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry have devoted a disproportionate amount of attention to Israeli settlements and to the flailing two-state solution, with Obama devoting much of his last press conference on Wednesday to the subject.
Late last month, Kerry made similar comments in a speech.
Asked by Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) if the Trump administration would take the position, as previous American administrations have, that settlements are an obstacle to peace, Haley said she “has not heard anything different” from Trump’s team, the Times of Israel reported.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon expressed his gratitude for Haley’s comments and praised her “unequivocal support” of Israel during her hearing, according to the Post.
“We are looking forward to working with her in full cooperation in order to undo the damage of the shameful Security Council resolution,” Danon said. “This is the time to lead the way to a new era in the UN and to significant reforms that will put an end to the obsession with Israel.”