(March 5, 2018 / JNS) In their marquee addresses to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference on Monday night, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Vice President Mike Pence used the friendly platform to tout many of the Trump administration’s triumphs on Israel.
Haley, whose tenure at the U.N. has been heavily focused on combating the institution’s long-perceived bias towards Israel, began her speech by saying that “when I come to AIPAC, I am with friends. In the United Nations, we sometimes don’t have many friends.”
“In the real world, Israel is a strong country with a strong military,” she said to a raucous crowd that repeatedly gave her standing ovations. “But at the U.N., it’s a different story. Israel does get bullied there. It gets bullied because the countries that don’t like Israel get away with it. That just doesn’t sit well with me.”
Haley also took aim at the Obama administration for abstaining on a late 2016 U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, calling it a “shameful day” for the U.S., adding that “on my watch, that would never happen again.”
“Some people accuse us of favoritism towards Israel,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with showing favoritism towards an ally, that’s what being an ally is all about. But in all that we’re doing, our approach on Israel is tied to one major idea – the simple concept that Israel must be treated like any other normal country.”
In his speech, Pence took a more measured tone, drawing on many of the same themes he discussed in his address to the Israeli Knesset in January, including the Iranian threat and the recognition of Jerusalem.
“Dangerous provocations will not go unchecked by Israel, America, or our allies,” Pence said regarding Iran’s aggression in the Middle East. “We will not allow the defeat of ISIS to become a victory for Iran,” he said, promising that the U.S. “will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
“Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States will withdraw from the deal immediately.”
On Jerusalem, Pence said that Trump “did more than promise – he delivered. In May of this year we will open the American embassy in Jerusalem.”
At the same time, Pence said that the U.S. remains committed to a two-state solution.
“Our team, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Ambassador Friedman, are hard at work on a peace plan. Any peace will require compromise, but the United States will never compromise the security of the state of Israel,” Pence said.