JERUSALEM — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said in Jerusalem on Wednesday that Israel faces bullying at the United Nations — and that she has no patience for it.
Haley arrived in Israel to a hero’s welcome one day after warning that the United States might pull out of the U.N. Human Rights Council unless it changes its ways in general and its negative stance on Israel in particular.
Haley, a former governor of South Carolina who often is touted as a future Republican presidential candidate, has focused heavily on what she calls the mistreatment of Israel during her six months at the United Nations.
Her efforts have made her a darling of Israeli leaders, and have endeared her to conservative pro-Israel organizations in the United States.
“Thank you for all your help and standing up for Israel, standing up for the truth,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Haley after the two met in Jerusalem.
He said that with backing from President Trump, Haley had begun to “change the discourse” on Israel within the international forum based in New York.
“You know, all I’ve done is to tell the truth, and it’s kind of overwhelming at the reaction,” she said. “It was a habit. And if there’s anything I have no patience for it’s bullies, and the U.N. was being such a bully to Israel, because they could.”
Haley said she has started to see a change in attitude at the United Nations, a body that Israel has complained is overwhelming against it, mostly in regard to its 50-year occupation of the West Bank and day-to-day treatment of the Palestinians.
Israeli leaders are hopeful that with support from the Trump administration, the United Nations will change the way it treats Israel.
At a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, Haley said the United States was “looking carefully” at its participation in the council, which she lambasted for allowing countries involved in human rights abuses to remain members while maintaining what she called “chronic anti-Israel bias.”
“It’s hard to accept that this council has never considered a resolution on Venezuela, and yet it adopted five biased resolutions in March against a single country, Israel,” she said.
Haley will spend three days in Israel, where she is scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, spend time in Tel Aviv and take a helicopter ride to Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. She also will meet with Palestinian leaders, Israeli media reported.
“We are honored to welcome you to our country and thank you for standing resolutely by our side,” Israeli U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said at a welcoming ceremony for the American diplomat.
Danon will accompany Haley throughout most of the trip, except during her meetings with the Palestinians and while she takes a private tour of Jerusalem’s holy sites.
He said that with help from Haley and the U.S. administration, “now is the time to enact real reforms at the U.N. so that it will reflect Israel’s true stature in the international community.”