Nikki Haley: “Israel is the One Bright Spot in a Really Rough Neighborhood”

June 28, 2019

by: Kate Norman

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Nikki Haley (center, right) and her husband attend a forum in Jerusalem with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (left) and his wife.

Friday, 28 June 2019 | “The truth needed to be said, without any apology,” former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in her first visit to the Jewish state since leaving her post last year. Haley, who was well-known for standing unapologetically for Israel and fighting anti-Israel bias in the UN, was the guest of honor at Israel Hayom’s Forum for US–Israel relations.

The former ambassador has seen Trump’s undisclosed peace plan for the Middle East, and called it “well thought out, detailed, doable. It does things that would improve the lives of the Palestinians, but would not compromise the security of Israel.”

Israel’s American sweetheart spoke of her time in the UN and discussed Israel and its stance within the region. The UN was—and still is—filled with anti-Israel bias and ambassadors standing against Israel merely because it was what they had always done, Haley said, but she noticed a change during her time there.

“I think we’re starting to see a shift, that countries are realizing we are blessed to have Israel in the Middle East, and even Arab countries are starting to realize that,” Haley said. “You can’t destroy what God has blessed, and Israel is blessed.”

Haley also chimed in on the recent US-led economic forum in Bahrain, which covered the economic prospects of Trump’s plan that could be implemented, pending agreements from the Israelis, Palestinians and other key players. The Palestinians boycotted the conference, however, calling it a bribe to give up their “right of return.” Despite their refusal to attend, several other Arab nations showed up.

“The Palestinians may not want to come to the table, but if their neighbors do, than it is a totally different ballgame,” Haley said.

The former ambassador was warmly welcomed during her visit, thanks to her uncompromising refusal to let Israel stand alone within the international body.

“You had a situation where there was this organization of 193 countries that were anti-American and anti-Israel, continuing to give us a hard time, but had their hand out for aid,” Haley said of the UN. “I didn’t want to be just another ambassador. I felt the American people deserved that.”

Haley and her husband, Michael, had lunch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Netanyahu had warm words for his old ally.

“The entire people of Israel appreciate the extraordinary way that you represented our alliance between America and Israel and the way you defended Israel and the truth in the UN,” the prime minister said. “You were a great champion of this alliance and you have the enduring gratitude of all the people of Israel, really heartfelt.”

As a symbol of that enduring gratitude, Israel’s outdoor market, the shuk, has a special new addition in honor of Haley. As shopkeepers pack away their colorful produce and products at the end of the day and pull down their shutters, late-night wanderers are treated to a new array of colors in beautiful artwork and graffiti painted onto the shutters. Haley’s portrait is the latest addition to the collection of murals decorating the closed-down market.

“The truth is always worth fighting for. Israel is the one bright spot in a really rough neighborhood,” Haley said. “The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world.”

The former ambassador’s future is still unknown—though people have pegged her to run for president in 2024—but she said she will still wave the banner for the US and Israel.

“I will never stop fighting for what the US believes in,” she declared. “I will never stop fighting for Israel and I will never stop fighting for the bond that we have together.”

Posted on June 28, 2019

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 28, 2019)

Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr.com