At her confirmation hearing to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Gov. Nikki Haley (R – S.C.) condemned the organization’s “outrageous bias against our close ally Israel.”
While Haley acknowledged that “international diplomacy is a new area for me,” she also said that her service as governor gave her the ability “to unite those with different backgrounds, viewpoints, and objectives behind a common purpose.” Saying that the UN “could benefit from a fresh set of eyes,” she promised to “bring a firm message to the UN that U.S. leadership is essential in the world.”
Haley also conceded that while some UN programs have been successful, she stated that “any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers.”
This was especially true given the UN’s animosity towards the Jewish state, Haley stated. She backed up her charge with numbers: In the recently concluded General Assembly session, “the UN adopted twenty resolutions against Israel and only six targeting the rest of the world’s countries combined.” Over the past ten years, she added, the UN Human Rights Council “has passed 62 resolutions condemning the reasonable actions Israel takes to defend its security. Meanwhile, the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations. This cannot continue.”
Given this context, Haley said, “the events of December 23,” when UN Security Council voted for an anti-Israel resolution (which the United States chose not to veto), “were so damaging.”
Noting that in 2015 she became the first governor to sign anti-BDS legislation, Haley asserted that she “will not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel. In fact, I pledge to you this: I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.”
Haley also observed that the United States contributes 22 percent of the UN’s budget before asking “are we getting what we pay for?” Haley praised Congress for exploring “ways the United States can use its leverage to make the United Nations a better investment for the American people. I applaud your efforts, and I look forward to working with you to bring seriously needed change to the UN.”
In subsequent questioning by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Haley elaborated her views on the U.S.’s abstention last month. “I think that was the moment we should have told the world how we stand with Israel, and it’s a kick in the gut that we didn’t,” she said. She also told Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that she “absolutely” supports moving the U.S.’s embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Highlights of Haley’s opening statement, compiled by the watchdog organization UN Watch, can be seen below.
[Photo: C-SPAN / YouTube ]