Envoy Haley says US won’t let the UN ‘bully’ Israel anymore

June 7, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley waits to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in his residence in Jerusalem, Israel, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Debbie Hill/Pool photo via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday the U.S. will not allow the U.N. to “bully” Israel anymore.

Nikki Haley spoke Wednesday in Jerusalem a day after she berated the U.N.’s top human rights body for ignoring countries with horrendous human rights records while focusing obsessively on Israel.

Israel has long complained of ingrained anti-Israel bias within the U.N., where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.

Haley told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the approach toward Israel at the U.N. was a “habit.” She said “the U.N was such a bully to Israel because they could.”

In a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, Haley said “I have never taken kindly to bullies and the U.N. has bullied Israel for a very long time and we are not going to let that happen anymore.” She said “it is a new day for Israel in the United Nations.”

Rivlin said Israel sees in her support a new era where “Israel is no longer the U.N’s punching bag.” He added that “we have a long way to go” for change there and also at the Human Rights Council which he said “has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel” and in UNESCO “where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

Recent resolutions by UNESCO, the U.N. cultural body, drew outrage in Israel for diminishing the deep Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

Haley is in the region after speaking in Geneva at the U.N. Human Rights Council which she rebuked as a “forum for politics, hypocrisy and evasion” that allows rights abusers to whitewash their images and foes of Israel to criticize the Jewish state unfairly.

Haley used an academic forum in Geneva to pinpoint two reforms sought by the United States: the use of competitive elections to choose the council’s 47 members and removal of Israel as a permanent fixture on its agenda — the only country in the world that is.

Later Wednesday, Haley met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah, her office said in a statement. It said they discussed the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip as well as the work of UNWRA, a U.N. agency that helps Palestinians.

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