In address to UN General Assembly ahead of vote, Haley defends Jewish state and United States’ sovereignty, promising that the vote “will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN. And this vote will be remembered,” Dec. 21, 2017.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, gave her address ahead of the UN General Assembly vote on Jerusalem Thursday, focusing on the UN’s bias and hostility toward the State of Israel, as well as the disrespect of the United States in having the resolution voted on in an emergency session.
Speaking of the “wrong that undermines the credibility of this institution”, Haley began her address before the 193-member assembly, “To its shame, the United Nations has long been a hostile place for the state of Israel. Both the current and the previous Secretary-Generals have objected to the UN’s disproportionate focus on Israel. It’s a wrong that undermines the credibility of this institution, and that in turn is harmful for the entire world.”
Haley then spoke of Israel’s resilience amidst constant bias and attack from the United Nations, stating, “I’ve often wondered why, in the face of such hostility, Israel has chosen to remain a member of this body. And then I remember that Israel has chosen to remain in this institution because it’s important to stand up for yourself. Israel must stand up for its own survival as a nation; but it also stands up for the ideals of freedom and human dignity that the United Nations is supposed to be about.”
She went on “Standing here today, being forced to defend sovereignty and the integrity of my country – the United States of America – many of the same thoughts have come to mind. The United States is by far the single largest contributor to the United Nations and its agencies. We do this, in part, in order to advance our values and our interests. When that happens, our participation in the UN produces great good for the world. Together we feed, clothe, and educate desperate people. We nurture and sustain fragile peace in conflict areas throughout the world. And we hold outlaw regimes accountable. We do this because it represents who we are. It is our American way.”
Haley reiterated President Trump’s promise that the United States would not “taken advantage of any longer” stating “But we’ll be honest with you. When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our good will is recognized and respected. When a nation is singled out for attack in this organization, that nation is disrespected. What’s more, that nation is asked to pay for the “privilege” of being disrespected. In the case of the United States, we are asked to pay more than anyone else for that dubious privilege. Unlike in some UN member countries, the United States government is answerable to its people. As such, we have an obligation to acknowledge when our political and financial capital is being poorly spent.”
She added, “We have an obligation to demand more for our investment. And if our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our resources in more productive ways. Those are the thoughts that come to mind when we consider the resolution before us today.”
President Trump threatened to cut American aid to countries that voted in favor of the resolution, the president stating following the United States’ veto at the Security Council Monday “They [UN] take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. People are tired of the United States- people that live here, our great citizens that love this country- they’re tired of this country being taken advantage of, and we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”
Haley then defended President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, referring to the history of the United States commitment to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stating “The arguments about the President’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem have already been made. They are by now well known. The decision was in accordance to U.S. law dating back to 1995, and it’s position has been repeatedly endorsed by the American people ever since. The decision does not prejudge any final status issues, including Jerusalem’s boundaries. The decision does not preclude a two-state solution, if the parties agree to that. The decision does nothing to harm peace efforts. Rather, the President’s decision reflects the will of the American people and our right as a nation to choose the location of our embassy. There is no need to describe it further.”
The ambassador then stated that there is “a larger point to make”, promising that “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
Haley ended her address ahead of the vote, reiterating “America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do. And it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that,” adding that the General Assembly vote “will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN. And this vote will be remembered.”
Since 2012, the United Nations General Assembly has passed 97 resolutions on countries for human rights and international law violations. Of them, 83 have been against the State of Israel.
Photo: Nikki Haley at the UNGS, Screenshot, 2017