America’s ambassador to the United Nations received a hero’s welcome at the World Jewish Congress plenary before saying a word – then insisted standing for the truth meant standing with israel.
Nikki Haley, who received two standing ovations from the 700-strong audience as she entered the room at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, condemned the previous administration for doing nothing to stop resolution 2334 and the wider body for singling attack israel more than Iran and North Korea combined.
But to applause she added: “I can safely say it’s a new day for Israel at the United Nations.”
She said: “The United States will no longer be silent as Israel is unfairly attacked at the United Nations. Silence is not my thing anyway, but that’s especially true when it comes to standing up for America’s friends. And we have no better friend in the Middle East than Israel. The anti-Israel bias that has existed for so long at the UN is cut from the same cloth as the BDS movement and the global rise in anti-Semitism. They all seek to delegitimize Israel.”
She insisted it wasn’t hard to counter the bias, however, pointing to Israel’s record on rights for women and minorities. “As long as I’m America’s representative at the UN, I am going to stand for human rights and I am going to stand for the truth. And that means I am going to stand for Israel,” she said.
Rather than focusing on israel, Haley insisted the security council’s “obsession” should be the threats posed by Iran. She said: “Iran is what should be taking up time. Hezbollah should be taking up monthly meetings. That should be the message of the UN and that was my message to the security countil last week.”
Haley – whose parents were from India – suggested Indian and Jewish communities shared a strong work ethic. They could both also be stubborn, she pointed out.
She told the gathering: “Antisemitism must be ended in all forms in every place on the planet.”
Such was the reception she received, WJC president Ronald Lauder joked that if Haley had been present a day earlier he may not have been elected to a third term.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also addressed the plenary, pointing to his historic election to chair a UN committee and the withdrawal of an anti-israel report as success during his tenure.