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Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations

Photo by U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv | CC BY 2.0

Of all the shameless people serving in the administration of the shameless Donald Trump, one looks in vain for one more ignorant, ill-informed and crass than the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Nikki Haley has proven repeatedly that she is an embarrassment on the world stage, and the fact that she seems completely oblivious to her repeated acts of appalling stupidity is only further evidence of it.

Her most recent foray into the world of head-scratching nonsense occurred on Tuesday, February 20.  She basically, in her most eloquent way (not!), told the Palestinian government that she wouldn’t ‘shut up’, as was very appropriately suggested to her. She suggested that the Palestinians take “…the path of negotiation and compromise”.

One wonders what color the sky is on Haley’s planet. Her disconnect from reality is so severe that it’s a wonder she is able to string two words together coherently (she seldom makes it much past two).  Why, one might reasonably ask, is it always the Palestinians who have to compromise? Why is no demand ever made on Israel?

A few facts, those pesky things that Haley apparent disdains, may be enlightening.

+ In 1947, the nation of Palestine, by decree of the newly-formed United Nations, was partitioned to establish Israel. Over 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes; many of them, and/or their descendants, live in refugee camps to this day. Thousands of Palestinians were brutally slaughtered.

+ Since that time, Israel has encroached on Palestinian land, destroying tens of thousands of Palestinian homes to make room for Israel-only settlements which are illegal according to international law.

+ Israel illegally occupies the West Bank, and arrests without charge men, women and children. It also kills unarmed men, women and children, sometimes on camera, with complete impunity.

+ The Israel Defense Forces (read: Israeli terrorists) stand idly by as Israeli settlers (another version of Israeli terrorists), assault and kill innocent Palestinians, raid their homes and forcibly and illegally evict them, and desecrate their sacred buildings.

+ The illegal Israel blockade of the Gaza Strip is slowly and painfully strangling the nearly 2 million people who live in what is often described as the world’s largest open air prison. These people are in this ‘prison’ despite never having been charged with any crime, other than, what, in Israel’s opinion, is the crime of being Palestinian.

+ Israel’s leaders have called for the murders of pregnant Palestinian women, saying the ‘little snakes’ must be destroyed.

+ Israel’s leaders justify racism by stating that it is necessary to maintain the ‘purity’ of the Jewish state.

Does Haley not see that Israel has any role in this? Does she fail to understand why Palestinians, including their spineless leaders, might feel some hostility towards Israel? Does she not recognize that Israel has a dismal human rights record and is in violation of numerous international laws? She seems to buy into the concept articulated by Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi:  “The Palestinians are the only people on earth required to guarantee the security of the occupier, while Israel is the only country that demands protection from its victims.”

Haley wants Palestinians to ‘negotiate and compromise’. Israel, in its oh-so-magnanimous way, is always willing to negotiate ‘without preconditions’. That means that it will talk at the negotiation table as it takes more and more Palestinian land, and kills and imprisons more and more innocent Palestinian people. Such ‘negotiations’ have occurred off and on for decades; the only result is decreasing Palestinian land and increasing oppression of the Palestinians by Israel.

The U.S. has been the dishonest mediator of these negotiations the entire time, and its clear bias towards Israel is nowhere questioned; it cannot now, and never could, be an honest mediator.

And this writer will ask once again why anyone thinks negotiations are possible or necessary. They are not possible, because negotiations can only occur between two parties, each of which has something the other wants, that it can only get by surrendering something it has. Israel takes whatever it wants from Palestine with complete impunity.

Negotiations are not necessary, because international law recognizes Palestine’s and Israel’s borders as those established in 1947. If this writer robs a bank, no one would suggest that he and the bank manager ‘negotiate’ how much of the money he must return. When caught, he must simply return it all, and suffer the consequences of his crime. Israel has stolen huge amounts of land from Palestine. The settlements must all be vacated, and the land returned to the Palestinians. Haley should be reminded that international law forbids an occupying country from moving its citizens permanently onto occupied land. Of course, with her disdain for international law, she would dismiss this concept, assuming she had sufficient intelligence to understand it.

In the U.S., following the most recent slaughter in a high school, there appears to be a shift happening in society. People who have long supported sensible gun control, such as banning the kind of automatic weapons, whose sole purpose is to kill lots of people very quickly, that were used in several mass murders, seem now to be taking control of the narrative. This is the first step towards real change.

Surveys in the U.S. repeatedly show diminished support for Israel, and increasing support for Palestine. This has alarmed even Israel’s leaders, who recognize that the younger generation of U.S. citizens, the U.S.’s future leaders, are no longer supportive of the racist ideology of Zionism. It is time for people who recognize Israel’s constant, horrific crimes, to seize the narrative, and confront Haley and the other administration officials, and the members of Congress, who are beholden not to their constituents, but to pro-Israeli lobbies, and enable the Palestinians to live in the peace and human dignity that all people deserve, and that the U.S. and Israel have for generations denied them. Haley’s ridiculous pronouncements at the U.N. notwithstanding, Palestine will be free. Those of us who believe in human rights must make it so.

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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