December 21, 2017

ELI LAKE: Nikki Haley Confronts the U.N.’s ‘Jackals.’

She has made it clear that the U.N. needs America more than America needs the U.N. This is not just because the U.S. hosts the body’s headquarters. It’s because the U.S. remains the indispensable member of the organization. It contributes 23 percent of the U.N. annual budget. The U.S. provides nearly 30 percent of the budget to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA. That’s the agency that runs Palestinian schools and medical facilities and has often turned a blind eye to the participation of outlaws like Hamas. The U.S. provides the logistics for moving troops and material for peace-keeping missions and disaster relief. There is no U.N. without the U.S.

Haley made this point well in her speech announcing the U.S. veto Monday of the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “When the American people see a group of countries whose total contributions to the Palestinian people is less than 1 percent of UNRWA’s budget — when they see these countries accuse the United States of being insufficiently committed to peace — the American people lose their patience.”

Haley has delivered this message in public and private a lot in her first year on the job. She pulled the plug on U.S. participation in U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization after it declared Hebron to be a Palestinian world historic site with no mention of the deep Jewish historical connection to that city. She has sought ways to cut the fat from the U.N. peace-keeping budget, and has used the monthly U.N. Security Council meeting to deal with the Middle East to call attention to Iranian aggression.

Under the Obama-Carter theory, Haley’s approach would lead to America’s isolation at the U.N. But so far this has not been the case.

That’s because the UN self-evidently does need the US more than the US needs the UN — and it ought to give Americans a swelling sense of pride to have a UN ambassador who understands this and acts accordingly.

UPDATE: I should have added that the UN member states have always understood this, but have counted on the US pretending not to understand it.

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