NIKKI Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations and a strong defender of Israel in the world body, will leave her post by the end of this year.
President Donald Trump in an Oval Office appearance with Haley on Tuesday morning praised the former South Carolina governor and said that about six months ago, she told him that she was ready to leave by the end of this year.
“She’s a fantastic person, very importantly, but she’s also somebody that gets it,” Trump said.
Haley, a moderate on Trump’s foreign policy team, had a warm relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who frequently praised her for criticising what she saw as bias against the Jewish State at the UN.
The most consequential actions she took had to do with Israel: she pulled out of UNESCO, the United Nations cultural affiliate, and pushed for the defunding of UNRWA, the agency that administers assistance to Palestinian refugees and their descendants. She threw a party for countries that did not vote to condemn the United States for recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Haley at the Oval Office event said Trump earned international respect by delivering on his warnings, including on Iran and Israel.
“They get it when the President says he means business,” she said. “If you look at the anti-Israel bias and the strength and courage the President showed in moving the embassy” to Jerusalem.
Early on in her tenure as UN ambassador, Haley made it clear that she would no longer tolerate anti-Israel bias at the world body. During a March 2017 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), she declared herself as the UN’s “new sheriff in town” and said, “The days of Israel-bashing are over.”
During her 2018 address to AIPAC, Haley again received an overwhelmingly positive response, getting numerous standing ovations from the pro-Israel crowd.
“Some people accuse us of favouritism towards Israel,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with showing favouritism towards an ally; that’s what being an ally is all about. But in all that we’re doing, our approach on Israel is tied to one major idea – the simple concept that Israel must be treated like any other normal country.”
Reacting to the news, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked her for leading “an uncompromising struggle against hypocrisy at the UN and for the truth and justice of our country”.