Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thank You, Ambassador Haley!

Haley and Netanyahu - No more strained relationship between the US and Israel
She will be a hard act to follow. US ambassador to the UN, Nikky Haley, has just announced that she will be stepping down from that position at the end of this year. To say that I was disappointed at that announcement would be a major understatement.  In my view she was one of the brightest stars (if not THE brightest) of the Trump administration. I don’t think that is arguable even if you are a virulent Trump hater. (Unless you are a supporter the Palestinian narrative. Then you are glad to see her go.)

What Haley has done for Israel is unprecedented. Although it is true that she was just implementing Trump’s foreign policy agenda, she did it with the enthusiasm of someone that completely agrees with it. Especially as it pertains to Israel.

She spoke the truth to the nations of the world that just love to bash the Jewish State. Haley stridently and correctly called out the hypocrisy of a UN whose anti Israel agenda superseded by far anything else going on in the world. And she backed it up by unprecedented action.

This is not to say that her predecessors were anti Israel. They were not. They defended Israel and vetoed all anti Israel resolutions made by the Security Council. Except for the one time they abstained – tainting that record. But beyond defending Israel verbally (except for that one time) the US did little that made any difference. Not so Haley.

In the wake of her announcement to resign, the Jerusalem Post published 5 things Haley did in support of Israel (with the obvious consent of her bosses at the State Department and of course their boss, the President) that should have been done years ago by previous administrations:

1. She slashed US funding to UNRWA, the UN’s relief agency that helps Palestinian refugees. This was done because of their massively over-inflated number of actual refugees.

2. She vetoed a UN Security Council resolution criticizing the US for moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And then went further when that resolution was taken to the UN General Assembly for a vote as a moral victory, Haley got 64 nations to not vote or vote against the resolution.

3. She took the US out of the UN Human Rights Council whose major focus was criticizing Israel while ignoring the fact that many of its own members (e.g. Iran, China, and Venezuela were some of the worst human rights violators in the world.

4. She successfully lobbied UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to pull the  notorious and patently false report labeling Israel an Apartheid State.

5. She publicly declared that the Kotel belongs to Israel – departing from the long standing US policy of not commenting about which side owns any part of Jerusalem.

I would add a 6th.  Haley made clear why the US withdrew from the terrible the nuclear deal with Iran by articulating its major flaws. Not the least of which were: its openly expressed and belligerent determination to annihilate the state of Israel: Its active development of a long range missile delivery system capable of carrying nuclear warheads; its role as one of the biggest state sponsors of terror in the world; and the ability to resume developing nuclear weapons with impunity after the deal expires .

These are just a few of the reasons that she will be missed. Even if the next UN ambassador will be just as supportive, I’m not sure he or she will be able to do it with with such confidence and style. Her words in support of Israel that clearly called out the world body’s bias against it will be sorely missed. She did not mince words about  ‘ the moral cesspool of a hypocritical United Nations that applauded human rights abusers and attacked democracies like Israel’.

These nations of the world may not like the US as much as they did under the last administration. But they have quickly learned to respect the current one a lot more. 

I have no clue who the President will pick to replace her. Some names have been floated. From what I can tell after a brief look at their records, all are big supporters of Israel. One name I heard mentioned this morning was Joe Lieberman. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful replacement? Whoever it is, they will have some very big shoes to fill.