U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tore into the U.N. General Assembly Thursday, threatening to pull U.S. funding from the international body in response to a resolution condemning President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley said in remarks to the assembly in New York.
“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit,” she warned.
The resolution, which passed 128-9, expressed “deep regret” at the call made by President Trump, and calls on “all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.” It was sponsored by Turkey and Yemen and comes after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution at the Security Council. The U.S. does not hold veto power at the General Assembly.
Haley’s remarks were her toughest to date in her career as ambassador, where she has consistently grilled various U.N. officials over the body’s anti-Israel and anti-American bias. She has repeatedly noted the enormous U.S. contributions to the U.N. and has demanded better value for money from the bloated bureaucracy.
While Haley has repeatedly pointed to bias at the U.N., the latest resolution from the GA is different in that it directly singles out the U.S. for a decision in line with long-standing U.S. policy, and it seeks to shame the U.S. Haley has frequently contrasted the treatment of the U.S. and Israel with countries that have appalling human rights records like Cuba, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia – all three of which remain on the Human Rights Council.
The Trump administration has shown a willingness to back up its tough talk with action. In October, the U.S. withdrew from UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural body, over that organization’s long-standing anti-Israel bias.
Haley’s remarks emphasized democratic accountability and took a possible swipe at countries that oppose the U.S., countries which are frequently lacking in such accountability. She warned:
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem, that is what the American p[eople want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. No vote at the United Nations will make any difference on that, but this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N. and this vote will be remembered.”
Haley’s remarks come a day after President Trump also warned about pulling money from “nations that take our money and vote against us.”
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars then vote against us, well we’re watching those votes,” he said. “Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
On Thursday, Israel Ambassador Danny Danon expressed support for Haley, describing those who supported the resolution as “puppets” for the Palestinian leadership.
“Those who support today’s resolution are like puppets pulled by the strings of the Palestinian puppet masters,” Danon said. “You are like marionettes forced to dance while the Palestinian leadership looks on with glee.”