South Carolina Government Nikki Haley, whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to lead US efforts at the UN, said Wednesday the world body is biased against Israel.
“Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent, and more outrageous, than its bias against our close ally Israel,” she said.
Testifying before lawmakers during her Senate confirmation hearing, Haley said she “absolutely” supports her prospective boss’ comments to move the US embassy, long standing in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.
Critics have cautioned that the move could inflame tensions in the region, and further stymy already doubtful prospects for peace.
Successive US administrations, regardless of party, have refused to take the action, deferring annually in the interests of US national security since Congress ordered the move in 1995.
Israelis and Palestinians seek Jerusalem as their capital, and the move of the US embassy would signal Washington’s endorsement of the city as Israel’s capital.
Haley also said an international effort to boycott Israel is unfair because the country is “just trying to protect its people”.
But in breaking with Trump, Haley said Russia could not be trusted, and that NATO is “an important alliance for us to have”.
The comments are strongly at odds with Trump’s stated views on the transatlantic alliance and Moscow, and Haley sought to downplay the disagreement saying that the administration should not just be filled with yes men.
Haley said she believed Moscow committed war crimes in its campaign to wrest control of Syria’s Aleppo from opposition fighters, distancing herself from potential Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who declined to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” for his country’s actions in Aleppo when grilled by lawmakers.