Days of Israel-bashing over, Haley tells UN

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 28 (IANS) Reiterating her pro-Israel stance, Indian-American Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, has asserted that the United States will continue to support Israel.

Haley, during her speech at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference on Monday, said: "For anyone who says you can't get anything done at the UN, they need to know there is a new sheriff in town."

Haley also said that she would not allow a repeat of an anti-Israel resolution passing at the UNSC, which happened last December when the US, under the Barack Obama administration, chose not to utilise its veto power, the Washington Examiner magazine reported.

"The days of Israel-bashing are over. You're not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them. And I think what you're seeing is, they're all backing up a little bit. The Israel-bashing is not as loud," she said.

The former South Carolina governor said she is taken aback by the "bizarre" level of vitriol she has witnessed levelled against Israel in UN bodies, according to the report.

She spoke of having prevented the appointment of a Palestinian official, former Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad, to a senior UN position, and noted that he may well be a nice man.

But "until the Palestinians come to the table" to negotiate peace with Israel, "there are no freebies for the Palestinian Authority any more," she said.

When asked how the US can help change the culture at the UN, Haley said: "The US tells them what we're not going to put up with."

"We start to change the culture to what we should be talking about and then we actually act on what we say."

"I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement. It's because if I see something wrong, we're going to kick them every single time," Haley added.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan praised Haley for her tough stance, and took his own swipe at the UN as well for "obsessing" over the Jewish state.

He accused the Obama administration of "damaging trust" with Israel and promised a new day under US President Donald Trump -- a line which earned him applause from the crowd.

--IANS

soni/dg