Israeli leaders, US groups praise Haley as a fighter for Jewish state at UN
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Israeli leaders, US groups praise Haley as a fighter for Jewish state at UN

Netanyahu says outgoing envoy led ‘uncompromising struggle’ for Israel; deputy foreign minister calls her greatest friend Israel ever had at world body

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley meets with President Reuven Rivlin, not seen, at his official residence in Jerusalem on June 7, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley meets with President Reuven Rivlin, not seen, at his official residence in Jerusalem on June 7, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli lawmakers and American Jewish groups showered praise on US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley Tuesday, hours after the staunch pro-Israel envoy announced her resignation from the role.

Leading the chorus extolling her as a friend of Israel who stood up for the Jewish state at the United Nations was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked Haley effusively for her backing.

Netanyahu, who served as an Israeli ambassador to the UN in the 1980s, said Haley had led “an uncompromising struggle against the hypocrisy at the UN and on behalf of the truth and justice of our country.”

President Reuven Rivlin said she “never wavered” in her support of Israel’s right to security.

“More than once, by speaking clearly, she tore away the cynical smokescreen that was masking what the United Nations and international organizations were really doing,” he said in a statement.

Rivlin said Haley’s tenure would go down as “a turning point in the relations between the US and international organizations, and the discriminatory stance that these organizations have taken Israel on more than one occasion.”

Haley has been a star in the center-right pro-Israel community, consistently earning the loudest plaudits at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference.

On Tuesday, AIPAC thanked Haley for her “strong leadership” at the UN.

“Thank you for consistently standing up for America’s interests and our democratic ally Israel,” the lobby wrote on Twitter.

During her tenure, the US pulled out of the UN’s cultural agency and the Human Rights Council, citing their bias against Israel.

In remarks at the White House Tuesday alongside US President Donald Trump, Haley cited pushing back against the anti-Israel bias at the UN as one of the key accomplishments of her tenure. She praised Trump for moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“They get it when the president says he means business,” she said. “If you look at the anti-Israel bias and the strength and courage the president showed in moving the embassy.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with United States Ambassador to the UN, Nicky Haley, in New York, USA, on March 8, 2018. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Danny Danon, Israel’s current envoy to the UN, said Haley’s support for Israel helped changed its status at the UN.

“Thank you for standing with the truth without fear. Thank you for representing the values common to Israel and the United States,” he said in a statement.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel has never had a “greater friend” at the UN than Haley.

“I hope her resignation today is a break for the sake of continued public activity. The public arena needs her clear voice,” Hotovely wrote on Twitter.

Haley has not said what she will do next, but a resignation latter dated October 3 indicated she planned to leave government work for the private sector.

Deputy Minister Michael Oren said Israelis would be “forever” grateful to Haley.

“With great sorrow I heard of the resignation of Ambassador Nikki Haley who worked successfully for the US, Israel and the enlightened world against the forces of darkness at the UN,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The people in Israel will appreciate her forever and wish her success in the future,” added Oren, an American-born former Israeli ambassador to the US.

MK Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, called Haley a “great friend” of Israel and an “important voice” at the UN.

“She took on the hypocrisy and bias at the UN with conviction and clarity. Thank you,” he tweeted.

American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, center, Jared Kushner, left, and Jason Greenblatt, listen as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in Palestine on February 20, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In the United States, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt praised Haley for her “tireless work on behalf of the American people” at the UN.

“Your efforts to combat anti-Israel bias at the UN and strengthen relationships with our allies and partners are just a fraction of your @USUN legacy. You will be sorely missed,” he tweeted.

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, praised Haley while warning of a “leadership vacuum” in the wake of her departure.

The American Jewish Committee said it would miss Haley’s “fearless voice.”

“Ambassador @NikkiHaley has been a powerful and effective advocate for U.S. interests at the UN — and a remarkably steadfast and dedicated friend of #Israel,” it tweeted.

Norm Coleman, the head of the Republican Jewish Committee, praised Haley’s “bold leadership and moral clarity” at the UN.

“Her leadership on confronting Iran, North Korea, and the audacious biases against Israel represent a new high-water mark for US diplomacy,” he said in a statement, adding that Haley is respected “across the political spectrum.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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