WASHINGTON — The United Nations discourages peace between Israelis and Palestinians by perpetuating an “illusion” that the existence of the Jewish state has caused the region's conflicts, Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the UN, said on Monday.
Speaking before the American Public Affairs Committee's annual conference in Washington, Haley told the crowd that Israel “is not going away.” Realization of that at the UN is the key to ending Israel’s isolation there.
Haley— whose tenure so far as UN ambassador has been dominated by action on Israel issues— earned repeated standing ovations at the Israel lobby’s annual conference.
She said that she had always known that Jerusalem was Israel’s capital, and that she hopes the rest of the world will soon follow the Trump administration’s lead in recognizing this fact.
“Like most Americans, I knew what the capital of Israel was,” she said. “To be more clear, I knew that Jerusalem was, is and will always be the capital of Israel.”
“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That’s a fact,” she said. “And President Trump had the courage to recognize that fact when others would not.
“Sometime in the future, the day will come when the whole world recognizes that fact,” she added. Haley said that she hopes to attend the opening of the embassy there, scheduled for May, around Israel's 70th Independence Day celebration.
She fielded criticism that the Trump administration is favorable to the Israelis, stating that favoritism is acceptable toward allies.
“Nothing wrong with showing favoritism toward an ally,” she said. “But this is not about favoritism.”
She also condemned UN bodies, specifically UNRWA and UNESCO, for what she categorized as systemic anti-Israel bias.