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Nikki Haley Criticizes UN on Anti-Israel Bias During Ambassador Confirmation Hearing

( [email protected] ) Jan 19, 2017 04:18 PM EST
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley took issue with what she believes is United Nations' members lack of support to Israel during her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become U.N. ambassador for the United States. She also spoke against Russia, and questioned what she called disproportionate funding the U.N. receives from the U.S.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, nominated to become the nation's United Nations ambassador, is addressing many political and foreign policy issues this week during her Senate confirmation hearing. Carlos Barria / Reuters

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley took issue with what she believes is United Nations' members lack of support to Israel during her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become U.N. ambassador for the United States. She also spoke against Russia, and questioned what she called disproportionate funding the U.N. receives from the U.S.

"Nowhere has the U.N.'s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel," said Haley, the daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab in northern India. Her birth name was "Nimrata Randhawa."

She said she will not go to New York and abstain when the U.N. seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel. "I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States."

Though some people perceive the U.N. historical posture with Israel to be unreceptive, U.S. policy typically aligns America's stance with the Jewish democracy.

Haley named Syria, Iran and North Korea as the "world's worst human rights abusers." Asked about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's "extra-judicial killings" of more than 6,000 alleged drug dealers in the Philippines, Haley said the practice violated basic human rights.

She also told Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., there would be no so-called "Muslim registry" in the U.S. "This administration and I don't think there should be any registry based on religion," she said.

Haley, 44, sought to reassure committee members she would try to moderate Trump's negative views of the U.N. and of the NATO military alliance in Europe, which he called "obsolete" over the weekend, reports Los Angeles Times.

She asked Senate Foreign Relations Committee members if America is "getting what we pay for," according to Fox News.

"We contribute 22 percent of the U.N.'s budget, far more than any other country," Haley said. "We are a generous nation. But we must ask ourselves what good is being accomplished by this disproportionate contribution."

Haley also called the Kremlin's actions in Syria "atrocities," and agreed with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., that some bombings in Aleppo constituted "war crimes." She also said Russia's incursion into Crimea was "a big concern."

"I think Russia is going to continue to be at the forefront of a lot of issues that we have to deal with," Haley said.

"We can't trust them," she said of authorities in Moscow. "The problem is there are no boundaries with Russia."

During her opening remarks, Haley admitted she was a novice at international diplomacy but noted "diplomacy itself is not new to me."

"I'm prepared to speak up against anything that goes against American values," Haley said. "We have always been the moral compass of the world."

Haley attended Clemson University and served in the state Legislature before she was elected governor in 2010. She was the first female elected to that position in South Carolina. She was re-elected in 2014 and cannot run for a third term. She handled the mass murder of nine black members of a church in Charleston in 2015 by a self-described white racist, who was sentenced to death this month. She led bipartisan calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.

During last year's presidential primaries, she was critical of Trump, asking voters to resist "the siren call of the angriest voices." She endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) before he withdrew from the presidential race.

 

 

Tags : Nikki Haley, UN ambassador, confirmation hearings, United Nations, S.C. governor, Trump administration, Trump picks, Israel, Nimrata Randhawa, Muslim registry, NATO, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Russia, Moscow, war crimes