Haley on Defending Israel at the UN: US Has ‘a Moral Duty to Take Sides’

By Patrick Goodenough | July 24, 2018 | 3:16 AM EDT

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley addresses the Christians United For Israel annual summit in Washington on Monday, July 23, 2018. (Screen capture: YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) – The United States does not have a “moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong” at the United Nations, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told a pro-Israel audience in Washington on Monday night.

“On the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone,” she said.

Addressing Christians United For Israel’s annual summit, Haley spelled out the Trump administration’s response to anti-Israel bias at the U.N.

She quoted the late Nobel peace prize laureate Elie Wiesel as saying that “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

“I keep that in mind as I battle away at the United Nations,” Haley said.

“At the U.N., some well-meaning countries are constantly in search of consensus. They frequently invoke the principle of neutrality.”

“At times, there is virtue in working together with other countries to form consensus,” she continued. “But that principle can be taken too far – and it often is.”

“The United States has no moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong; on the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone.”

Haley took an enthusiastic audience through the key steps taken by the administration in support of Israel at the U.N. – steps that led to the U.S. withdrawing from UNESCO last October and from the Human Rights Council last month, and to two U.S. vetoes in the Security Council – one last December to kill a measure that sought to overturn President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the other in June, to defeat a resolution condemning Israel for deadly violence along the Gaza-Israel border but failing to mention Hamas.

When the Arab-drafted Gaza resolution was taken up in the General Assembly – where no country has veto power – the U.S. took the approach of presenting an alternative draft resolution “that called out Hamas’ terrorism,” she said.

Haley said that in more than 600 General Assembly resolutions relating to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, not one has mentioned Hamas by name.

“It’s very important to me that we present truths and reality at the U.N., even if it makes other countries uncomfortable,” she said.

When the U.S. draft was put to the vote, “to everyone’s surprise, more countries voted with us than against us,” she said. “That sent shockwaves through the General Assembly – everyone was shocked.”

“From now on, every country knows that the United States will not just block anti-Israel measures, we will shine a light on those who are responsible. There won’t be any more free passes for those who bully Israel at the U.N.”

(Despite the unprecedented outcome highlighted by Haley, the U.S. initiative ultimately did not succeed on a technicality, since it was decided a two-thirds vote would be needed. The U.S. called for a vote on that ruling, but failed to overturn it. In the end the Arab-drafted resolution passed, by a large margin.)

Haley also recalled an earlier U.S. failure at the U.N. – when the General Assembly took up the Trump Jerusalem recognition issue a week after the U.S. had vetoed a resolution on it in the Security Council.

“We lost that vote, but to many people’s surprise 65 countries refused to go against us,” she said, calling that a record. (Nine countries voted against the measure, 35 abstained, and 21 stayed away for the vote.)

She recalled having warned at the time that the U.S. was “taking names.”

“President Trump and I are pushing to draw a closer connection between U.S. foreign aid and whether countries support U.S. interests at the U.N.,” she said. While voting decision shouldn’t be the only factor in foreign aid decisions, “they should be one factor – and we are determined to make that connection.”

 


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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow