Donald Trump’s choice for United Nations ambassador, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, voiced uncertainty (and in doing so, aligned herself with Trump) regarding the value of the U.N. during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday. But Haley said she would champion American interests when it comes to voting and condemned the Obama administration’s handling of issues with Israel.
Haley is not the first Trump appointee who has been at odds with the organization they are going to be a part of. Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, once sued the EPA as Oklahoma attorney general, and education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos appears to have a lack of knowledge on public education issues. Haley’s hearing hasn’t been too contentious, but she’s bucking a trend too.
Haley’s main complaint with the U.N. stems from it being “often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers.” She went on to express skepticism about the U.N.’s intentions for U.S. interests by taking a page out of her future boss Trump’s playbook and saying we are not seeing a return on investment:
“We contribute 22 percent of the U.N.’s budget, far more than any other country. We are a generous nation. But we must ask ourselves what good is being accomplished by this disproportionate contribution. Are we getting what we pay for?”
Haley did say she will take an active role in her position, putting U.S. interests first, and she took a shot at the Obama administration’s handling of Israel:
“I 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.”
Haley’s statements followed the recent U.S. decision to abstain in voting on a U.N. resolution that denounced Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry had defended the vote in December. At the time, he said, “The only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” which is in “serious jeopardy.”
(Via The Washington Post)