Since her start as US Ambassador, Nikki Haley hasn’t minced words when it comes to the United Nation’s rocky relationship with Israel.
Friday was no exception.
In an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Haley defended the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“In 1995, the US Congress recognized Jerusalem should be declared the capital of Israel and that the US Embassy should be located in Jerusalem,” Haley explained.
“Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all agreed with that position, but they did not act. They delayed in hopes that a peace process would produce results. Results that never came,” she continued.
She then pointed out key facts that have been overlooked when it comes to the actual policy behind the move.
“The United States has not taken a position on boundaries or borders. The specific dimensions of sovereignty over Jerusalem are still to be decided by the Israelis and the Palestinians in negotiations,” she explained.
“The United States is not predetermining final status issues. We remain committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement. We support a two-state solution, if agreed to by the parties,” she continued.
Finally, Haley finished with criticism aimed squarely at the UN itself.
“Over many years the United Nations has outrageously been of the world’s foremost centers of hostility towards Israel. The UN has done far more damage to the prospects of Middle East peace than to advance them,” she stated.
“We will not be a party to that. The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations,” she declared.
“The United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly,” she continued.
Her defense of the president’s decision didn’t come without pushback.
“We regret the decisions announced by the US President on Wednesday to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," said French Ambassador Francois Delattre.
Other nations agreed the president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and move the embassy would damper any hope of a peace agreement.
Watch Haley’s full comments here.