From the Desk of Avi Benlolo: Bravo, Nikki Haley

December 7, 2018

Editorial

This week we mark 70 years of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, but you wouldn't know it. In one of her last acts in office, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley made a personal appeal for decency and humanity. She attempted to convince the substantial Arab bloc to side with peace instead of with hatred. She said: "I want to take a personal moment and ask my Arab brothers and sisters: is the hatred that strong? Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you'll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people? Isn't it time to let that go? For true peace and security in the entire region, isn't it time for both sides to let this go?"

What Haley was simply attempting to do was stand up for the very values espoused in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. By pushing for a resolution which condemns Hamas, a terrorist organization, she was in fact pushing for the values ensconced in the UN Charter. People have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of freedom. No one should live under terror, especially not civilians. What Haley was doing was promoting friendly relations among nations, a core tenet of the Charter.

In the end, the tyrants of the UN prevailed. And while Haley's resolution against Hamas was not adopted, it is worthwhile to note that 87 nations were in favour – quite an achievement at the UN when it comes to voting onside with Israel. On average there are at least 20 resolutions against Israel annually at the UN and nearly 700 in all time, making the Jewish state the most bullied country in that “institution.” That alone portrays antisemitism – the marginalization, discrimination and targeting of the Jewish nation.

To this end, Haley said: “And yet, what the UN chooses to do today will speak volumes about each country’s seriousness when it comes to condemning antisemitism. Because there is nothing more antisemitic than saying terrorism is not terrorism when it’s used against the Jewish people and the Jewish State. There is nothing more antisemitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we would not hesitate for one minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country. I’ve watched countries that would never take such positions on their own come together here at the UN and abandon all sense of honesty, all sense of accuracy, and all sense of truth.”

Haley will be missed by all who believe in truth and justice. Who are principled and who refuse to be silent. Tyrants rule the UN, but every once in a while we are graced by a righteous leader who brings some light (Chanukah) to the darkness at the UN. As we welcome a new US Ambassador to the UN, let us pray for similar strength and conviction in these dark times.

Shabbat Shalom,

~Avi

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