WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will not allow a repeat of last year’s United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its settlements, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told AIPAC on Monday.
“Never again do what we saw with resolution 2334 and make anyone question our support” for Israel, Haley said. She earned the warmest reception of any speaker with extended standing ovations.
The Obama administration allowed through the anti-settlements resolutions in December as one of its last acts, triggering bitter recriminations from Israel’s government and from friends of the Jewish state in America.
Haley described her determination to help steer the course of the United Nations and its agencies from anti-Israel bias, noting her intervention keeping Salam Fayyad, the former Palestinian prime minister, from becoming the body’s envoy to Libya, and in getting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to withdraw a U.N. affiliate’s report likening Israel to an apartheid state.
Haley was one of a number of speakers at AIPAC who drew a sharp contrast at the conference between President Donald Trump’s administration and his predecessor, Barack Obama.
“Anyone who says you can’t get anything done at the United Nations, you need to know there’s a new sheriff in town,” she said.
“I wear high heels. It’s not for a fashion statement, it’s because if I see something wrong I will kick it every single time.”
AIPAC has striven to promote bipartisanship as a theme this conference, seeking to heal wounds with Democrats opened over divisions with Obama over settlements and the Iran nuclear deal. But Republican speakers have not been able to resist digs at Obama.
“Paul Ryan, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that Obama had “damaged trust” with Israel.
“President Donald Trump’s commitment to Israel is sacrosanct,” he said.
Ryan described the Iran nuclear deal, which swapped sanctions relief for Iran’s rollback of its nuclear program, as an “unmitigated disaster.” But like Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke Sunday, he stopped short of proposing dismantling the deal, as Republicans consistently had during last year’s campaign. Instead, Ryan endorsed AIPAC-backed bipartisan legislation that would increase non-nuclear-related sanctions on Iran for testing nuclear missiles and backing terrorism and other disruptive activity.
The top two foreign operations officials in the House — Reps. Kay Granger, R-Texas, a moderate Republican who is the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee and on the committee — struck a bipartisan note, appearing together Monday to back AIPAC’s bid to stop Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign assistance.“Foreign assistance supports a crucial role in national security,” Granger said, “and makes up just a small portion of the national budget, less than 1 percent.”
Added Lowey: “The United States gets a major payoff.”