JERUSALEM, Israel – U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley was warmly welcomed Wednesday morning when she arrived in Israel.
"We are honored to welcome you to our country and to thank you for standing resolutely by our side," Israeli U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon told her. "We look forward to showing you our beautiful country as we work together to strengthen our alliance."
Haley's outspoken advocacy for the Jewish state at the United Nations has been gratefully received both in Israel and abroad.
At the World Jewish Congress' Plenary Assembly in New York in April, Haley said it's "a new day for Israel at the United Nations."
"As long as I'm America's representative at the U.N., I am going to stand for human rights and I am going to stand for the truth. And that means I am going to stand for Israel," she told the 600 delegates from more than 90 countries.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and increasing global anti-Semitism are meant "to intimidate her (Israel's) friends and embolden her enemies," she said.
On her first day in Israel, Haley met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.
"Thank you for all your help and standing up for Israel, standing up for the truth, which is standing up for America," Netanyahu said. "People appreciate truth."
Haley said that's all she's done is tell the truth to overcome the habit at the U.N. that people have gotten so used to.
"And if there's anything I have no patience for is bullies, and the U.N. was being such a bully to Israel because they could," she said, adding that "We're starting to see a turn in New York."
President Rivlin also thanked her for standing up for Israel at the United Nations.
"You are a dear friend of Israel," he said. "With your support, we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the U.N. Israel is no longer the U.N.'s punching bag."
Haley told the president it was an "absolute thrill to be here in Israel," saying the U.N. has bullied Israel for a very long time and "we're not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations," she said.
"I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me. It is a pleasure to be here."
Haley will also visit Jerusalem's Old City and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. She will also visit Tel Aviv.
During her three-day visit, Haley will get a bird's eye view of the country by helicopter, especially the northern and southern borders.
Danon will accompany her throughout the three days, though she will not be accompanied by Israeli officials in the Old City.
Speaking Truth to the Human Rights Council
On Tuesday, Haley told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva the U.S. would consider withdrawing its support if the council doesn't abandon its "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel, The Washington Post reported.
In an address at a different venue Tuesday, Haley continued speaking about the Human Rights Council.
"Countries like Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia occupy positions that obligate them to, in the words of the resolution that created the Human Rights Council, 'uphold the highest standards' of human rights. "They clearly do not uphold those highest standards."
"When the council fails to act properly — when it fails to act at all — it undermines its own credibility and the cause of human rights," Haley said. "It leaves the most vulnerable to suffer and die. It fuels the cynical belief that countries cannot put aside self-interest and cooperate on behalf of human dignity," she continued. ""It reinforces our growing suspicion that the Human Rights Council is not a good investment of our time, money and national prestige."
"It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility," she explained. "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."
She also said America is not seeking to leaving the council, but rather "to reestablish" its legitimacy.
Photos Courtesy of the Goverment Press Office, Amos-Ben-Gershom (Netanyahu) and Mark Neiman (Rivlin)