President Donald Trump nominated State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Friday as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, replacing Nikki Haley, who is stepping down at the end of the year.
Bloomberg News first reported this development on Thursday night.
Nauert, a former Fox News personality, was considered the frontrunner after former U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell withdrew from consideration. Also touted were U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, former U.S. Senate candidate John James of Michigan and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.
Nauert is expected to face a tough Senate confirmation due to her lack of foreign policy experience even though she served as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the fourth-highest ranking position in the State Department.
For the pro-Israel community, Nauert will replace Haley, who received strong praise for her support of the Jewish State at the U.N., which has long been accused of anti-Israel bias. In one of her final acts as ambassador, Haley criticized the international body for failing to pass a U.S.-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas by a required two-thirds majority.
As Foggy Bottom’s top spokesperson, Nauert helped further the administration’s pro-Israel platform.
She denounced the last month’s rocket attacks into Israel from Hamas in Gaza. “We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket, missile and mortar attacks that are taking place from Gaza into Israel,” she said. “We call for the sustained halt of those attacks. We stand with Israel as Israel defends itself against these attacks. It is simply unacceptable to target civilians.”
At the time, Nauert told JNS that the barrage makes the Trump’s highly-anticipated proposed peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians “more urgent.”
“When you see [rocket attacks], that’s the case for peace right there,” she said.
Nauert has also emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, as exemplified in August when Hamas launched rockets from Gaza into Israel.
“It’s a very concerning situation that has taken place in Gaza,” she said. “We condemn the launching of missile attacks into Israel and call for an end to the destructive violence.”
Moreover, she suggested last week that the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly by Saudi Arabia, will not affect U.S. efforts to have the kingdom, which is allegedly behind the murder, be part of forging a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Pro-Israel groups welcomed the announcement.
“We welcome the appointment of Heather Nauert to the U.N. post,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin told JNS. “We hope she will continue in the path of Ambassador Nikki Haley as a strong supporter of Israel, calling out the bias against it within the U.N. system, and pointing to Iran as a major source of global instability.”
“Following on the heels of Nikki Haley, Heather Nauert has some very big shoes to fill,” Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, told JNS. “Although some criticize the fact that she lacks a hefty diplomatic resume, the same was said of Ambassador Nikki Haley before she assumed the post.”
“What we need are some fresh, young people who are willing to think outside of the box,” she added. “I am also delighted that Ms. Nauert had added the D-Day reference about our relationship with Germany, indicating that our relationship with other nations in the world will not be based on a sugar-coated, revisionist history, but will be based on reality, and as Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘peace through strength,’ and not through appeasement.”