Nikki Haley at RJC: Biden Admin Can’t Be Trusted to Stop Iran Nuclear Threat
Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas over the weekend, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley discussed a variety of issues concerning Israel, the Palestinians, the U.N., and the Biden administration — which she argued could not be “counted on” to stop the Iranian nuclear program she deemed a threat to Israel’s existence. She also suggested the Jewish state reject waiting for Biden’s approval to counter the Iranian threat.
Speaking at the conference, Haley said groups supporting Israel “shouldn’t have to thank people for telling the truth and fighting for the truth; it should be automatic.”
Stating “not every Jewish group is the best when it comes to politics,” she condemned the head of the far-left, George Soros-backed J Street for giving Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “a great big hug.”
“Supposedly they’re supposed to be a pro-Israel organization,” she added. “I will never understand that.”
Israel should not count on Biden to stop the Iran nuclear program.
The Iranian nuclear threat is existential for Israel. If Israel makes the grave decision that its security depends on removing that threat, it should not wait for an American green light that might never come.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) November 6, 2021
She praised the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a group she claimed to love and described as a “genuinely pro-Israel” group that “does a lot of great things.”
“It’s unthinkable that a Democratic member of Congress called AIPAC a hate group and that Democratic presidential candidates refused to speak at AIPAC,” she said. “It’s absolutely outrageous.”
But the former South Carolina governor also reserved some criticism.
“There’s one thing I don’t get about AIPAC,” she said. “Why do they invite politicians to their conference who strongly support the Iran nuclear deal?”
“Stop rewarding bad behavior,” she advised. “It only gets you more bad behavior.”
Describing bipartisanship as “important” and claiming the U.S.-Israel relationship “should be completely bipartisan,” Haley argued it had its limits.
“If you make bipartisanship the whole reason for existence, then you lose sight of the policies you’re fighting for in the first place,” she said.
“If a politician supports the disastrous Iran deal, opposes moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and is embraced by antisemites who support the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement, then a pro-Israel group should have absolutely nothing to do with him or her,” she added.
Stating she had “spoke truth to power” while serving as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Haley called it “the honor of a lifetime to represent America at the U.N. and defend the country I love so very much, even if it was a forum where America is often disrespected.”
However, Haley claimed, part of that disrespect was “brought upon ourselves.”
Highlighting the yearly U.N. vote denouncing America “for the conditions in Cuba” and the “shameful” abstention of the U.S. under the Obama administration on the U.N. vote denouncing America, Haley said, “you can’t expect the rest of the world to respect you if you don’t respect yourself.”
She also condemned the “breathtaking betrayal” of the Obama administration when it allowed an “anti-Israel” resolution to pass.
“The resolution passed because the U.S. pushed it and told other countries we would not exercise our veto,” she said. “It was a slap in the face to our brothers and sisters in Israel and a real blemish on the value of American friendship.”
She then called out the U.N. for a history of anti-Israel bias.
“In the history of the U.N., there have been over 600 resolutions condemning Israel. Not one had ever acknowledged, let alone condemned, [the U.S. designated terror group] Hamas.”
Palestinian demonstrators burn Israeli and American flags at a Hamas rally, 22 November, at Al-Najah University in Nablus. (Photo by AWAD AWAD/AFP via Getty Images)
“We changed that, too,” she added. “For the first time, we convinced a majority of nations to condemn Hamas for the terrorist group it is.”
Calling dealing with the U.N. Human Rights Council “one of the most frustrating things,” Haley mocked its lack of condemnation of China and its relatively few condemnations of Iran or North Korea, all while condemning Israel dozens of times.
“In a recent ten-year period, the Human Rights Council has condemned China zero times; condemned Iran six times; condemned North Korea nine times; and it condemned Israel 68 times,” she said.
“The Human Rights Council is a farce for many reasons,” she added. “It’s where some of the world’s worst human rights violators go to protect themselves from criticism.”
Claiming America “must always be the world leader on human rights,” Haley praised the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Human Rights Council under the Trump administration.
“On the day we withdrew from the Human Rights Council, I called it a cesspool of political bias,” she said. “We were right to withdraw and I will say it again: President Biden is badly wrong to return to it.”
On the issue of the Palestinians, Haley said, “remember who you’re dealing with” while accusing the Biden team of wanting to return to “the business of giving millions of dollars to the Palestinians and promoting a two-state solution.”
“There is no universe today under which the corrupt Palestinian Authority can run a state,” she said. “There just isn’t.”
She also described how the Palestinian leadership actually views the peace process.
“The Palestinian leadership has never viewed the peace process as a way of achieving peace with Israel,” she said. “They have always viewed it as a way to destroy Israel.”
“How else can you explain the fact that Israel has accepted two-state solutions multiple times only to be rejected by the Palestinians every time and followed by violence?” she continued.
“Even the Palestinian Authority leaders praised Hamas and teach their children that Israel will eventually disappear,” she added. “They are not a partner for peace.”
On the Palestinian terror group Hamas, Haley said they “only want a one-state solution: a Palestinian state with no Israel.”
Expressing her “genuine love for Israel and America’s pro-Israel community,” Haley referred to the Jewish state as “a bright spot in a tough neighborhood.”
“It’s a great friend to the United States,” she said. “We share so many values of human rights, democracy, and religious heritage.”
A road sign indicating the direction of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. (Photo by Sergey OrlovTASS via Getty Images)
“And then you have the U.N., which is dominated by countries that aren’t free,” she added. “They don’t respect human rights; they don’t share our values; and they bully and bash Israel every single chance they get.”
On America’s decision under the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem, Haley said, “We righted a wrong and we told the world that not only is it our sovereign right to put our embassy wherever we want, but it was also time to recognize the truth: Jerusalem is and will always be the capital of Israel.”
Praising former President Trump’s record in the Middle East as “truly remarkable” and “historic,” Haley warned that “now with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House, we’re in a much different place.”
“Our pro-Israel friends in the Democratic Party — and thankfully there’s still a few of them — they insist that Biden is not as bad as Bernie Sanders and the squad,” she said.
“I think that might be true, but that’s like saying you’d rather have a ‘D’ than an ‘F’,” she added. “One grade is better than the other, but neither is one to write home about.”
She then deemed the Biden administration’s approach to Iran “dangerous,” and its approach to the Palestinians “terribly counterproductive.”
She also offered two “friendly observations” for the new Israeli government to consider.
On the Iranian nuclear threat, which she described as an “existential” for Israel, Haley said, “I wish it wasn’t so, but you cannot count on the Biden administration to stop the Iranian nuclear program. You just can’t.”
“You’ve seen what it did to Afghanistan,” she added. “You’ve seen how Biden is falling all over himself to get back into the nuclear deal.”
She also said Israel “should not wait for an American green light” to remove the Iranian threat.
“Yes, Israel would be viciously criticized at the United Nations, in the European Councils, and in the worldwide media [if it did so], but so what?” she asked.
“In matters of life and death, it is better to be strong and criticized than weak and ignored.”
She called on Israel to stand strong in the face of a hostile international arena:
So when the so-called international community calls on Israel to make “painful concessions for peace,” Israel must not be fooled. This same international community will not be there when the terrorist attacks come back. this same international community, joined by its supporters in Congress, will continue to call Israel an apartheid state.
The real key to the Arab-Israel conflict, according to Haley, is a “strong Israel that defends itself and shows its neighbors that they have much more to gain from their friendship than from their hostility.”
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens during a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting concerning the situation in Syria, at United Nations headquarters, April 14, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
She claimed that peace would come to Israel and the broader region “as long as Israel continues to show its strength and determination.”
“I have faith that peace will come to Israel because I do know this: You cannot destroy what God has blessed and God has blessed Israel,” she said.
She also implored the crowd to remain steadfast through next year’s midterm elections, “where the stakes couldn’t be higher,” citing the work that remains:
Those elections are about whether we stop socialism, defend our border, return to fiscal sanity, and end the liberal Indoctrination in our schools. And, yes, they are also about standing strong for our best ally in the Middle East, so I hope you will join me in fighting for victory in 2022.
To her fellows at the U.N. “who may be watching,” Haley warned, “I’ve got my eyes on you. don’t make me show up because I will.”
She concluded by promising to always fight for what is right and support America and the Jewish state.
“My promise to you is this: I will always be the loud and proud ambassador in support of United States and Israel,” she said, adding, “And we’ll continue to fight.”
Haley, who had little foreign policy experience before heading to the U.N., won worldwide respect by standing up for U.S. interests — and won the hearts of pro-Israel Americans with her fervent defenses of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
In September, she slammed President Joe Biden’s “very weak, pathetic” speech to the United Nations General Assembly, saying she was “truly embarrassed at how the world saw America” due to the lack of calling out China and the Taliban.
In August, she criticized the Biden administration for its handling of withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying it had “destroyed” everything America has done in the last 20 years in Afghanistan.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.