United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a scathing criticism of the UN Security Council over their “anti-Israel” bias on Thursday after emerging from her first regular monthly meeting at the international body.
“I have to admit; it was a bit strange,” Haley said of the council’s agenda. The former South Carolina governor noted that while it is the UN Security Council’s mission to discuss ways to maintain international peace and security, their meeting on the Middle East failed to address some of the region’s most pressing issues — namely, Hezbollah’s illegal buildup of rockets in Lebanon, the money and weapons the Iran regime is supplying to its terrorist entities throughout Latin America and the Middle East, ways to defeat the Islamic State, and how to hold Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad accountable for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen.
“Instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East,” Haley said. She added that while she is “new” to the United Nations, she is well-seasoned in her understanding of the UN Security Council’s generations-long bias against Israel. “I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore,” she said. “I’m here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel.”
She called out the “breathtaking” double standards inherent in the Security Council. “Incredibly, the UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire department devoted to Palestinian affairs,” she said. “Imagine that. There is not a division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state sponsor of terror, Iran.”
Last December, the Obama administration fired a parting shot at Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by departing from longstanding U.S. policy of vetoing anti-Israel resolutions and instead abstained from voting on a Security Council resolution (UN Res 2334) calling for a halt to Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
Former U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power cast the abstaining vote on behalf of the Obama administration. An article in Foreign Policy describes Power’s final act of defiance against Trump as her refusal to take Haley’s phone call prior to the December vote. “Power’s advisors suspected Haley would try to persuade Power to veto the resolution, and she did not take the call,” Foreign Policy wrote.
“We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided security council resolutions to condemn Israel,” Haley said. “Instead, we will push for action on the real threats we face in the Middle East.” In January, a group of Republican and Democratic senators signed onto bipartisan legislation that rejects UN Res 2334 and calls for it to be either “repealed or fundamentally altered so that it is no longer one-sided.” Because the United States is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a veto from them would have automatically prevented the resolution from passing. She also pointed out the rise of anti-Semitism in the world, which has seen an uptick over the last few years, and reiterated the Trump administration’s commitment to seeing to a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict “that is negotiated directly between the two parties.”
Despite Friday’s meeting, Haley said “there is good news” outside of the UN. “Israel’s place in the world is changing,” Haley said. “Israel is building up new diplomatic relationships; more and more countries recognize how much Israel contributes to the world.” She said they realize that Israel is “a beacon of stability in a troubled region.” She concluded her speech by saying, “it is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change… The United States will not hesitate to speak out against these biases in defense of our friend and ally Israel.”