TEL AVIV – The Trump administration’s bid to end bias against Israel at the UN is “actually a demand for peace,” the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the annual AIPAC convention in Washington on Monday evening in a speech met with rapturous applause and a dozen standing ovations.
The UN’s unfair treatment of Israel, she said, has “long undermined peace by encouraging an illusion that Israel will simply go away.” But the Jewish state, she continued, “is not going away. When the world recognizes that, then peace becomes possible,” because all sides will then “be dealing with realities not fantasies” and “reasonable negotiated compromises can prevail over absolutist demands.”
“At the UN and throughout the UN agencies, Israel gets bullied,” Haley said to thunderous applause. “I have absolutely no patience for bullying.”
She lauded President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and predicted that one day the whole world would follow suit. She said she intended to come to Jerusalem in May for the opening of her country’s embassy.
“I hope to be there and join our great ambassador David Friedman on the day when we open our brand new American embassy in Jerusalem,” she said to loud cheering from the crowd.
“Like most Americans, I knew what the capital of Israel was,” she said. “To be more clear, I knew that Jerusalem was, is and will always be the capital of Israel.”
“This was not something that was created by the location of an embassy,” she went on. “This is not something that was created by an American decision. America did not make Jerusalem Israel’s capital. What President Trump did, to his great credit, was recognize a reality that American presidents had denied for too long. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That’s a fact. And President Trump had the courage to recognize that fact when others would not.”
“Sometime in the future, the day will come when the whole world recognizes that fact.”
Haley began her address by saying she was among friends.
“When I come to AIPAC, I am with friends. And at the UN, we don’t usually have very many friends.”
Her speech was frequently interrupted by resounding applause and on two occasions a member of the 18,000-strong audience shouted out that they “loved” her. She replied, “I love you too.”
She listed a few examples of mistreatment of Israel at the UN, and pointed to its cultural arm, UNESCO, as having “one of the worst records of Israel bias.” She said that a resolution passed last year that labeled Hebron an “endangered site in Palestine” was “outrageous” and an attempt “to change ancient history.”
“That was enough,” she said. “Ten months into this administration, the United States withdrew from UNESCO.”
She added that the U.S. was “not forgetting” the non-binding UN General Assembly resolution nullifying the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem.
She added that “it cannot be the case that only one country in the world doesn’t get to choose it capital city.”
In reference to top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat’s advice last month that she “needs to shut up,” Haley said, “Mr. Erekat, I will always be respectful, but I will never shut up.”