Nikki Haley’s departure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations elated the political Left and saddened those who love Israel. In less than two years, Haley set a new American standard that leaves her successor with big shoes to fill.
Of all her accomplishments, and there were many, the one that stands out was her unwavering support for the Jewish state. Toward the beginning of her post at the UN, Haley made her voice clear: “The days of Israel-bashing are over,” she 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.”
Instead of entertaining unwarranted criticisms of Israel, Haley purposed to bring moral clarity to the UN, trying to unify countries to oppose true human injustices taking place in Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and the Sudan. Sadly, the UN Human Rights Council chose, as it always does, to condemn Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
Under President Trump’s leadership, Ambassador Haley withdrew the United States from the UN Human Rights Council, saying, “The Human Rights Council has long been the foe of those who truly care about human rights around the world. The United States has proven, yet again, its commitment to truth and justice and their unwillingness to allow the blind hatred of Israel in international institutions to stand unchallenged.”
Haley will be remembered for persuading Russia and China to impose the strictest sanctions on the totalitarian regime of North Korea. The landmark UN Security Council vote is believed to have been the impetus for the 2018 Donald Trump-Kim Jong UN summit in Singapore that hopefully will have a positive impact on the Korean Peninsula and abroad.
She boldly condemned Russia’s aggression in Crimea. Ukraine’s permanent representative remarked that Haley’s clarity on the issue was particularly important for his country.
The United States also did an about-face on Iran under Haley. The previous administration softened the language against Iran to advance the Iran nuclear deal, despite the fact Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Ambassador Haley changed the tone. “I’ll tell you right now,” she said, “we’re going to be really tough on Iran. We’re not giving them a pass.”
President Trump’s appointment of Nikki Haley was strategic. The two-term governor of South Carolina didn’t have a long résumé of international diplomatic experience. But what she lacked became, some thought, her greatest asset. Haley’s business-savvy approach to international politics and negotiations made her a perfect fit to do more than the average ambassador.
She approached the UN appointment with a desire to reform an organization that has become known by some as the “United Nothing.” A recent Gallup Poll found that two-thirds of Americans believe the UN is doing a poor job and that its ineffectiveness stems from its inability to distinguish right from wrong. Moral clarity has left the premises.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isa. 5:20).
The UN puts darkness for light, and light for darkness. Ambassador Haley’s desire to change that fact can be seen in her accomplishments, proving she shined the light of truth in the dark recesses of international politics.
Nikki Haley is going to be a hard act to follow. She called out hypocrisy, spoke up for those who aren’t heard, and was brave enough to stand up for truth. Let’s hope her successor does likewise.
~ D. Norris