Thursday, March 30, 2017

A different America - Boaz Bismuth

by Boaz Bismuth

Haley made it clear that on her watch, the world will have to get used to a different America.

Ever since Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States, those same commentators who were wrong about his chances of getting there have been insistent upon explaining to us why he is actually not good for Israel. At first, they said that he is not really pro-Israel; afterward, they accused him of failing to condemn the bomb threats against Jewish institutions, despite the fact that he sharply condemned them, and despite the fact that the prime suspect in the string of threats is an Israeli Jew; and then they claimed that he is not in our favor because he sought coordination on settlement construction and because he has not yet determined a date on which to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. 

But the same camp of accusers decided for some reason to ignore the foreign policy revolution that he managed to carry out with regards to Israel during his first two months in office, after eight years of hostility from Washington. And U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is the embodiment of the administration's pro-Israel line, at least when it comes to declarations at international forums. 

On Monday, she once again proved that the attitude toward Israel and its security under the 44th president has been thrown into the dustbin of history. In an unforgettable performance at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, she silenced the "experts" who claimed that the Trump administration is not as pro-Israel as we thought. The strong kid in class -- the United States -- is once again our best friend, and the rest of the kids in class -- the hypocritical world -- can go explode from jealousy. Not only did we not lose America, friends, America has returned to us in the international arena, and in a big way. 

For years, the United Nations consistently and systematically aimed its poisoned arrows at the only democracy in the region in order to please the tyrants surrounding it, even when the conflict was no longer interesting to the world. But immediately upon taking on her position, Haley made it clear that on her watch, the world will have to get used to a different America. 

Several weeks ago, she said the United Nations could "benefit from a fresh set of eyes" and a new vision. Haley added that the U.S. would "show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies, and make sure that our allies have our back as well." She promised to work to make improve things, "and anything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we’re going to do away with." 

A short time has passed and Haley already has results to show: She torpedoed the appointment of former Palestinian Authority President Salam Fayyad as the U.N. envoy to Libya; she successfully pressured to have a U.N. document accusing Israel of apartheid scrapped, leading to the resignation of U.N. Undersecretary General Rima Khalaf, who was responsible for the document. She also boycotted the special (and misguided) standing discussion on Israel and the territories at the Human Rights Council, leading to a fresh new line from Britain as well. 

New winds are prevailing in Washington and the world is quiet. And that's a good thing, for a change. The world is quiet because it is listening, and it understands that Trump is not prepared to trade in Israel to make others like him. 

Former U.S. President Barack Obama did his part, especially with his well-packaged parting gift, which was coordinated with several other capitals around the world -- U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which essentially outlaws all settlements in the territories as well as the Western Wall. This was a present to the Palestinians that will follow us for many years (it is very hard to undo U.N. resolutions). It happened, but, as Haley promised at the AIPAC conference, it will not happen again. "The days of Israel-bashing are over," she told the audience in Washington. 

Haley was the governor of South Carolina until her appointment. She is thought to be a likely and promising candidate in the 2024 presidential race, after the Trump era. Some say she accepted the appointment as a way to develop her talents in the field of foreign policy. She clearly arrived prepared for the job and then some. 

Haley also sent us another message: With Obama, we always felt that we were in overdraft at the U.N., but with her, we always feel like we have a positive balance. Long live the difference. 

Does anyone miss Obama?

Boaz Bismuth


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