Dear Friend of Israel
Nikki Haley, the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, received something like a hero’s welcome when she spoke at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference on Monday about changing the U.N.’s attitude toward Israel. (Watch her speech here). She seemed surprised by the warm reception – but she shouldn’t have been.
Ambassador Haley was well-received because she employed two simple and effective weapons: the truth and moral clarity. Supporters of Israel know that the U.N. has a long history of animosity toward the Jewish state. They’ve listened for years as the U.N. levels absurd charges against democratic Israel, while ignoring gross human rights abuses elsewhere in the world – and they’re tired of it.
Ambassador Haley made an overwhelmingly convincing case for Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance. She expressed her amazement at her first meeting at the U.N. Security Council and the anti-Israel sentiment she encountered there. “I didn’t expect an Israel-bashing session,” she said. “Until you hear it and you see it, you just can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is.”
She also had harsh words for the infamous U.N. Resolution 2334, which was passed late last year and declared Israeli “settlements” to be illegal (the resolution passed when the U.S. abstained on the vote): “When Resolution 2334 happened, and the U.S. abstained, the entire country felt a kick in the gut.… We don’t have a greater friend than Israel.… I wanted [the U.N.] to know that, look, that happened, but it will never happen again.”
Even given the U.N.’s infamous record of harsh and unjust treatment of Israel, Ambassador Haley remains optimistic. “All I did was tell the truth,” she said. “Understand that by telling the truth and showing the power of your voice and putting action behind it, there’s nothing we can’t change.”
Of course, whether the U.N. will truly change remains to be seen. But, as the world’s preeminent power, the U.S. cannot simply “go along to get along.” Change starts by supporting and rewarding the good actors on the world stage, and confronting the bad. Ambassador Haley’s commonsense, wholehearted support of Israel is heartening and refreshing, and might just be an agent of change.
My friends, may we all see the day when Israel is welcomed as an equal among the community of nations. And let us pray for the day when God will bless us with His most precious gift of shalom, peace.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President