WASHINGTON — UN Ambassador Nikki Haley received a rock-star reception at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference today, where she declared that she wears high heels not to make a “fashion statement” but “because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick them every single time.”
Haley told the gathering at the Verizon Center that she “didn’t expect an Israel-bashing session” during her first weeks on the job “but until you hear it and you see it, you just can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is.”
She told the pro-Israel activists that she sees “so many similarities between the Israeli culture and her Indian culture: We’re very close knit. We love our families. We have a strong work ethic. We believe in professionalism and philanthropy, and giving back… We’re aggressive. We’re stubborn. And we don’t back down from a fight.”
Haley called the Iran nuclear deal “concerning” because “all it did was empower Iran, and it empowered Russia, and it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more.”
“You can put sanctions on a country. To take sanctions away, it’s very hard to go back and put sanctions back on. So what we have said is, we’re going to watch them like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed and dealt with,” she said.
“But my concern is, you are seeing a lot of love for the Iran deal in the Security Council. And that’s unfortunate. And why that was ever allowed to go through, why that was ever passed, is beyond me. I mean, it’s terrible.”
Moderator Dan Senor, a former Romney advisor, noted that “everyone was sort of stunned” when Haley opened her tenure at the UN by declaring, “For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names.”
“You want to see my list, don’t you?” Haley quipped to the AIPAC crowd. “You know, basically what it comes down to is, I’m not there to play. And what I wanted to make sure of was that the United States started leading again.”
She vowed that the U.S. would “never again do what we saw happen with Resolution 2334,” the motion at the end of December in which the Obama administration refused to use its veto power to kill a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity, “and make anyone question our support.”
“When Resolution 2334 happened, and the U.S. abstained, the entire country felt a kick in the gut. We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever. Never do we not have the backs of our friends. We don’t have a greater friend than Israel,” Haley said. “And to see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful. And so what I can tell you is, everyone at the United Nations is scared to talk to me about Resolution 2334.”
The ambassador argued that “changing the culture of the UN is very important, and the way you change the culture of the UN is the United States tells them what we’re not going to put up with.”
“If you challenge us, be prepared …because we will respond,” she added. “…The days of Israel-bashing are over.”
“They didn’t know exactly what I meant outside of giving the speech, so we showed them. So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the UN, we said no and we had him booted out. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a nice man. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t good to America. What it means is until the Palestinian Authority comes to the table, until the UN responds the way they’re supposed to, there are no freebies for the Palestinian Authority anymore.”
She was referring to the February block of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as leader of the UN political mission in Libya.
Haley said she also wants to do something similar against the “ridiculous” boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement at the UN as she did as South Carolina governor.
“If you want to boycott North Korea, I get it. If you want to have divestments and pull something away from Syria, do it. If you want to talk about other issues that we’re dealing with, I can understand that, but Israel? You know, and I number one, I appreciate all the support and kindness and everything that you’ve given to me. But all I did was tell the truth,” she continued.
“And if you want to continue to support me, which I greatly appreciate, understand that by telling the truth and showing the power of your voice and putting action behind it, there’s nothing that we can’t change. So with the BDS movement that we were able to stop in South Carolina, we’re going to continue to take that to the UN and make sure that they understand that is not what we need to be focused on.”