US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned unexpectedly on Tuesday, after two years in which she championed Israel at the world forum.
Haley oversaw the US embassy move to Jerusalem, the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the US withdrawal from UN human rights bodies critical of Israel, as well as US funding for Palestinian authorities and refugee programmes, regularly lambasting Israel’s critics from her position on the Security Council.
News of her resignation came as a shock to world leaders who had grown used to her combative style, which she used to threaten those countries who voted against the US on the embassy move.
She became known for her less-than-diplomatic words, describing the UN Human Rights Council as “a cesspool of political bias” and “a protector of human rights abusers” that targets Israel while ignoring atrocities elsewhere.
As one of Donald Trump’s most trusted lieutenants, Haley has tried to distance her boss from the Obama administration, which did not veto anti-settlement resolutions at the UN in the days before Obama left office, triggering bitter criticism from Israel.
Haley won rapturous applause at the annual conference of US-Israel lobby group AIPAC when she said the resolution “showed the United States at its weakest ever,” vowing that Trump would never fail to defend Israel.
After the UN overwhelmingly condemned the US embassy move to Jerusalem, Haley reacted furiously, calling it an “insult” and swearing that it would not be forgotten.
This garnered praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said she had had “lit a candle of truth” and “dispelled the darkness,” adding: “On Chanukah, you spoke like a Maccabi.”