(JTA) – Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, called the UN a “bully” against Israel, during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu thanked the envoy for “standing up for Israel” in the UN.
“You know, that’s all I’ve done, is tell the truth, and it’s kind of overwhelming at the reaction,” Haley said in response.
She called Israel-bashing at the UN “a habit.”
“It was something that we’re so used to doing,” she said. “And if there’s anything I have no patience for is bullies, and the UN was being such a bully to Israel, because they could.”
She added: “We’re starting to see a turn in New York. I think they know they can’t keep responding in the way they’ve been responding. They sense that the tone has changed.”
She said that some members of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where she attended a meeting before arriving in Israel, were “embarrassed” by the council’s permanent Agenda Item Seven, which discusses “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories,” and routinely singles out Israel for condemnation.
At the Human Rights Council meeting Tuesday, Haley said the U.S. is reconsidering its membership in the UN Human Rights Council, citing among other things bias against Israel.
“It’s hard to accept that this council has never considered a resolution on Venezuela and yet it adopted five biased resolutions in March against a single country – Israel,” Haley said Tuesday. “It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility.”
She also met Wednesday with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his residence in Jerusalem.
Rivlin called Haley a “dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support, we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”
During her three-day visit to Israel, Haley is expected to fly over the country’s northern and southern borders in a helicopter, visit Tel Aviv and lay a wreath at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial centre. Haley’s visit to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall are being billed as “private and religious,” however, and she will not be accompanied by Israeli officials. U.S. President Donald Trump, during his recent visit to holy sites in Jerusalem, was also unaccompanied by Israeli political leaders.