US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is America's most popular politician according to a study by Quinnipiac University, CNN reported yesterday.
Haley is viewed positively by some 63 per cent of US voters, while only 39 per cent gave their approval of US President Donald Trump. Haley's popularity also stretched to both sides of the political spectrum, with 75 per cent of Republicans, 55 per cent of Democrats and 63 per cent of Independents supporting the former South Carolina governor. She was only exceeded by former president Barack Obama, who was still held in high regard by some 66 per cent of voters.
The UN envoy has taken strong stands in favour of Israel, particularly in the aftermath of the US' recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in December. When the UN General Assembly voted to condemn the Trump administration's decision, Haley slammed the global forum as ungrateful for US contributions to the organisation.
"No vote in the UN will make any difference to that [the decision]. But this vote will make a difference to how the Americans see the UN. This vote will be remembered," she concluded, echoing her previous comments that the delegation would be taking names of those who voted against the recognition.
Last month, Haley gave another unrestrained speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, where she again condemned the UN for its alleged anti-Israel bias.
"In the real world, Israel is a strong country with a strong military," she said. "But at the UN, it's a different story. Israel does get bullied there."
Haley was met with thunderous applause as she argued that the UN had "long undermined peace by encouraging an illusion that Israel will simply go away." But Israel, she stressed, "is not going away. When the world recognises that, then peace becomes possible."
She also responded to the criticism that the US shows favouritism for Israel: "There's nothing wrong with showing favouritism towards an ally, that's what being an ally is all about."
The UN envoy's speech was noted as the most enthusiastically received by the thousands of attendees at the event, as she received multiple standing ovations during her speech and shouts of "we love you" from the crowd.
Haley has also taken a strong stance over the conflict in Syria, threatening to strike the Assad regime during the bombardment of Eastern Ghouta last month. The Russian delegation condemned her comments, stating that "such thunderous and irresponsible statements by the American envoy cause resentment and great anxiety."