In her speech to AIPAC, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley brought the crowd to its feet 12 times as she recounted her first year representing the U.S. in the global body. To critics who say that the U.S. favors Israel, Haley retorted, “There’s nothing wrong with showing favoritism towards an ally. That’s what being an ally is all about.”
In her speech, Haley laid out three principles that have guided her performance as ambassador.
The first is to stand up for friends.
On her first day as ambassador to the UN, Haley recalled, the fourth ambassador she called was Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. She assured him that unlike a month earlier when the U.S. abstained rather than veto the anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334, she would ensure that it “would never happen again” during her watch. And she said that it has not happened again.
The second, drawing on her history as an Indian immigrant in a small southern town, is that she wouldn’t stand for bullying.
Haley singled out UNESCO for attempting to change ancient history. Specifically, she mentioned how UNESCO passed a resolution calling the Cave of the Patriarchs a Palestinian heritage site that needed to be protected from Israel. So, ten months into her ambassadorship, the U.S. withdrew from UNESCO.
Her third stated principle is that Jerusalem “is, was, and will always be the capital of Israel.”
A year after the American abstention on 2334, Haley cast her first Security Council veto, defending the American recognition of Jerusalem of Israel’s capital. And though a week later, the U.S. lost a similar vote in the General Assembly, but she noted that 65 countries did not vote against the U.S.
Two nations that cast their vote with the U.S. were Honduras and Guatemala. Haley noted that Guatemala decided to follow the American lead by planning also to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
Haley also indicated that she would be in Jerusalem to open the new American embassy in Jerusalem in May.
Finally, Haley said that it is essential that Israel be treated like a normal country.
The ambassador recounted a number of ways that in the UN, Israel isn’t treated like one.
Israel will be a normal country, Haley said, when it isn’t the only country not permitted to choose its own capital.
She also said that Israel will be a normal country when it isn’t the only country subject to a standing item by the UN Human Rights Council.
Israel will be a normal country when only one set of refugees is counted in a way that they increase over time.
And lastly, Haley indicated that Israel will be a normal country when an organization of 193 nations doesn’t spend half its time condemning only one of those nations.
When Israel is treated like a normal country, Haley said, it will make peace possible. When Israel is singled out, Haley said, it creates an illusion that Israel isn’t permanent and encourages its enemies.