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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Ambassador Haley Stands with Israel

Since taking office in January, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Nikki Haley has strongly supported American values and stood by Israel. She has embraced her essential roles of combating rampant anti-Israel bias and deepening the U.S.-Israel alliance. Earlier this month, she met with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem to discuss America's and Israel’s strategy at the U.N. Her efforts underscore the important role she is playing in deepening the U.S.-Israel relationship and speaking out against rampant anti-Israel bias in the international arena.

Ambassador Haley has urged the U.N. to end its “chronic anti-Israel bias.”

The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is one of the most hostile, anti-Israel organs in the U.N. system. As serious human rights crises unfold around the world—especially in Syria and the broader Middle East—the UNHRC remains disproportionately focused on criticizing Israel.

On June 6, one day prior to arriving in Israel, Ambassador Haley urged the UNHRC to end its one-sided, anti-Israel behavior in remarks at the opening of the body’s 35th session in Geneva. “It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility,” she said.

Later that day at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Haley called for the removal of the UNHRC’s “scandalous provision” known as Agenda Item Seven—the clearest manifestation of the Council’s anti-Israel bias. Agenda Item Seven is the only country-specific item on the UNHRC’s standing agenda, requiring that Israel’s human rights record be debated at every Council session and ensuring that the Jewish state is singled out with automatic criticism at every meeting.

She continued: “Since its creation [in 2006], the Council has passed more than 70 resolutions targeting Israel. It has passed just seven on Iran. This relentless, pathological campaign against a country that actually has a strong human rights record makes a mockery not of Israel, but of the Council itself. The Council’s effort to create a database designed to shame companies for doing business in Israeli-controlled areas is just the latest in this long line of shameful actions.”

On June 14, Haley condemned a report released by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights that unfairly singled out Israel. “This report is just the latest example of the Human Rights Council singling out Israel rather than focusing on the world’s actual human rights abusers,” she said. “Not only does it undermine the credibility of the Human Rights Council on human rights issues, but it once again highlights the unfair bias of the U.N. when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

These comments echo previous statements Haley made on April 20 at a U.N. Security Council meeting. “Every month, the Security Council convenes a meeting on the Middle East,” said Haley. “Regrettably, these monthly meetings routinely turn into Israel-bashing sessions. That’s the way the Security Council has operated for years. It’s a formula that is absurdly biased against one country. It’s a formula that is painfully narrow in its description of the conflicts in the region.”

Ambassador Haley has taken steps to turn her words into action. In March, she demanded that the U.N. retract a new report that viciously and outrageously attacked Israel as an apartheid state. In response, the secretary-general deleted the report from the U.N.’s webpage.  

In her remarks June 6 in Geneva, Haley also warned that when “the Council fails to act properly—when it fails to act at all—it undermines its own credibility, and the cause of human rights;” it only re-enforces “our growing suspicion that the Human Rights Council is not a good investment of our time, money, and national prestige.”

Ambassador Haley’s trip reinforces the robust U.S.-Israel relationship.

In a June 7 meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ambassador Haley labeled the U.N. a “bully” that singles out Israel simply because it can. She noted, however, that this one-sided treatment is beginning to change. “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,” she said, referring to the countries that routinely bash Israel.

“They sense that the tone has changed,” she continued. “We were talking with some ambassadors in Geneva that are all on the Human Rights Council, and we talked to them about Agenda Item Seven. Some of them were embarrassed by it. They acknowledge the fact that it just makes no sense.”

Haley echoed this sentiment in a meeting later that day with President Reuven Rivlin. “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,” she said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin praised and thanked Haley for her leadership in the international arena in defense of Israel.

“Thank you for all your help and standing up for Israel, standing up for the truth,” Netanyahu said.

“You are a dear friend of Israel,” Rivlin told Haley. “We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support, we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the U.N. Israel is no longer the U.N.’s punching bag.”

On June 8, Haley visited an Israeli community on the Gaza border to talk to residents about their experiences living near the Hamas-ruled strip. She also toured a Hamas-built “terror” tunnel and the Kerem Shalom border crossing, through which most goods are transferred between Israel and the coastal enclave.

Ambassador Haley continues to speak truth to power, standing up for the Jewish state in the international arena. Her leadership underscores her commitment to a robust U.S.-Israel relationship. Together, America and Israel face numerous shared challenges. But building closer strategic, economic, political and diplomatic ties will help them further U.S. interests, promote regional peace and enhance the security and safety of both nations.

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