Haley: 'I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement.'

At the UN, ‘there’s a new sheriff in town,’ Nikki Haley tells AIPAC

Trump’s envoy thrills crowd at annual event, says ‘the days of Israel-bashing at the UN are over’

Rebecca Shimoni Stoil is the Times of Israel's Washington correspondent.

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC on March 27, 2017 (screen capture)
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC on March 27, 2017 (screen capture)

WASHINGTON — Thrilling a crowd of almost 18,000 at AIPAC’s annual policy conference Monday, US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley promised a new era at the world body — one in which America is an unabashed and unequivocal ally of Israel and any other nation that stands in the way will feel its wrath.

“I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement,” she said. “It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick ’em every single time.”

Having taken up her diplomatic assignment just a few weeks after former president Barack Obama allowed an anti-settlements UN Security Council resolution to pass — by foregoing the US veto power — Haley told the spirited audience that such an episode would not transpire again on her watch.

“When Resolution 2334 happened,” she said, referring to the motion’s formal name, “and the US abstained, the entire country felt a kick in the gut.”

“We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever,” she added. “Never did we not have the backs of our friends, and we don’t have a greater friend than Israel. To see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful.”

The former South Carolina governor said that “everyone at the United Nations is scared” to talk to her about the measure. She said she has made an assurance to all the other member states: “That happened but it will never happen again.”

“You’re not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them,” she said.

She went on to suggest that America can work to “change the culture” at the UN by being more forceful about its interests and that of its allies, which she intimated could lead to it being a less hostile environment for the Jewish state.

“If you challenge us, be prepared for what you’re challenging us for, because we will respond,” she exclaimed, telling the crowd she has sent a message to the body that “the days of Israel bashing are over.”

“What you’re seeing is they’re all backing up a little bit,” she asserted. “The Israel bashing is not quite as loud.”

Such a proclamation came after she recently spearheaded a US boycott of the UN Human Rights Council for what the administration said was its anti-Israel bias.

Haley also cited her recent move to have a UN report, accusing Israel of being an “apartheid” regime guilty of “racial domination” of the Palestinian people, withdrawn.

“They tested us again and this ridiculous report, the Falk report came out,” referring to the document’s author Richard Falk, who she proceeded to criticize. “I don’t know who the guy is or what he’s about, but he’s got serious problems,” she said.

Falk is a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine.

Haley on Monday also took issue with the Iranian nuclear deal, which she emphasized had “emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more.”

“We’re going to watch them like a hawk,” she told the crowd.

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