The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who urged the UN to reform and its members to stop singling out Israel, announced that she would be leaving her post at the end of the year, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Though she described her time representing the U.S. at the world body as “an honor of a lifetime,” she expressed a desire to take time off from serving in public office after two years at the UN and six years as governor of South Carolina.
“It was a blessing to go into the U.N. with body armor every day and defend America,” Haley said from the Oval Office, sitting next to President Donald Trump. “I’ll never truly step aside from fighting for our country. But I will tell you that I think it’s time.”
Trump said that Haley had “done a fantastic job,” and that “we’ve done a fantastic job together.” He added that “we hate to lose you.” According to the president, Haley had told him earlier this year that she wished to leave the UN at the end of the year.
The Times described Haley as “an outspoken and often forceful envoy — someone whom foreign diplomats looked to for guidance.”
In a profile of Haley written prior to last month’s UN General Assembly meeting, the McClatchy news service described the ambassador as “the administration’s most visible and outspoken fighter against what she describes as the ‘anti-Israel bias’ in the United Nations.”
Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, told McClatchy that Haley has been “a great champion of Israel in the Security Council.”
Israeli leaders across the political spectrum expressed their regret over Haley’s resignation.
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin praised Haley as “an uncompromising advocate of American policy towards the Middle East and Israel.” Former Labor Party MK Einat Wilf wrote, “All too often it seems that in the United Nations, the Nations are United only when it comes to picking on Israel. In this environment, Ambassador Nikki Haley @nikkihaley, stood towering as our fierce defender. For two shining years we knew in our kishkes that we were not alone.”
Israel’s former head of military intelligence and current director of the Institute for National Security Studies, Amos Yadlin, wrote, “During her term Israel received political and diplomatic backup unprecedented in the UN or any other platform.”
“Thank you Amb. Haley for standing for the truth and exposing hypocrisy at the UN,” wrote Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Just as the people of Israel are grateful for the rock solid support @POTUS Trump has provided Israel in the Oval Office, we are grateful for the rock solid support you’ve provided Israel at the UN.”
After witnessing her first UN Security Council meeting focusing on the Middle East, Haley declared that the U.S. would “not turn a blind eye” towards the UN’s anti-Israel bias. This past summer she reiterated those sentiments saying that “there won’t be any more free passes for those who bully Israel at the UN.”
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