By Israel Hayom—
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Wednesday the U.S. would not allow the U.N. to “bully” Israel anymore.
Haley made the comments in Jerusalem, a day after she berated the U.N.’s top human rights body for ignoring countries with horrendous human rights records while focusing obsessively on Israel.
Israel has long complained of ingrained anti-Israel bias within the U.N., where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.
In a meeting with Haley on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked her for her help and for “standing up for Israel, standing up for the truth,” which he said meant “standing up for America. Actually, I think it’s standing up for the U.N. as it was originally conceived.
“People appreciate truth,” Netanyahu said. “We have an ancient Hebrew saying that when somebody tells a truth, you can feel it. So people feel it, they not only understand it, they feel it. And we feel it. We’re glad to see the fruits of your efforts, uncommon common sense. And it’s the way people react across a very wide spectrum. President Trump and you, I think, have changed the discourse, have drawn new standards. … I think it makes a world of difference, both for Israel and the U.S.”
Haley told Netanyahu the U.N.’s “bullying” of Israel was a “habit.”
“If there’s anything I have no patience for, it’s bullies. And the U.N. was being such a bully to Israel, because they could. We’re starting to see a turn in New York. I think they know they can’t keep responding in the way they’ve been responding. They sense that the tone has changed. We were talking with some ambassadors in Geneva and, that are all on the Human Rights Council, and we talked to them about Agenda Item Seven, some of them, they were embarrassed by it. You know, they acknowledge the fact that it just makes no sense. You can’t sit there, and of all countries, Israel?” Haley said.
During their meeting, Netanyahu raised the possibility of pushing forward a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would serve to cancel Resolution 2334, which states that Jewish settlements beyond the Green Line are illegal. Resolution 2334 was passed in December when then-U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power broke with long-standing tradition and abstained from the vote, in effect allowing it to pass. Although technically impossible to cancel, a new resolution could serve to change the principles of the Resolution 2334.
Diplomatic officials, however, have expressed doubts as to whether Israel would be able to enlist the majority necessary to pass a new resolution on the matter.
Haley also met with President Reuven Rivlin, who told her Israel saw in her support a new era in which “Israel is no longer the U.N.’s punching bag.”
He added that “we have a long way to go” for change there and also at the U.N. Human Rights Council, which, he said, “has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel” and in UNESCO, “where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”
Haley responded by saying, “All I did at the United Nations was tell the truth.” She said, “I have never taken kindly to bullies and the U.N. has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations,” she said.
Haley toured the Old City and met with Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who presented her with a necklace and a gold pendant that features a 1,400-year-old menorah design found in excavations at the City of David, near Jerusalem’s Old City.
Before arriving in Israel, Haley spoke in Geneva at the U.N. Human Rights Council, which she rebuked as a “forum for politics, hypocrisy and evasion” that allows rights abusers to whitewash their images and foes of Israel to criticize the Jewish state unfairly.
Haley used an academic forum in Geneva to pinpoint two reforms sought by the United States: the use of competitive elections to choose the council’s 47 members and the removal of Israel as a permanent fixture on its agenda — the only country in the world that must be discussed each time the body meets.
Later Wednesday, Haley’s office said in a statement that Haley had met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah and that the two had discussed the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip as well as the work of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which helps Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, Haley was scheduled to take a helicopter tour of Israel and listen to a security briefing from IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. She will also meet with local residents in the Gaza periphery communities and visit Bethlehem.