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A "New Sheriff in Town" Is Kicking Up Her Heels

By       Message James Wall       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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Nikki Haley, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, (above) was greeted as a rock star at this year's AIPAC Washington Conference.

The former governor of South Carolina wowed the crowd of 19,000, in an on-stage interview in which she bragged that she blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to a high UN position, solely because he is a Palestinian.

She followed up by bragging that she had persuaded the UN secretary general to withdraw a report which described Israeli policies as apartheid.

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The longest and loudest AIPAC crowd roar came when she "brought the house down" by proclaiming "the days of Israel-bashing at the United Nations are over."

She declared her intention to end Israel-bashing by metaphorically combining her footwear with her display of strength: "I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement. It's because if I see something wrong, we're going to kick them every single time...Anyone that says you can't get anything done at the U.N., they need to know there's a new sheriff in town."

Ha'aretz reported: "Haley embraced the fierce Republican hostility towards the United Nations and [she] is wielding defense of Israel as the sword with which she will slay the organization."

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Speaking in her southern folksy style, Haley, unwittingly perhaps, exposed an attitude which carries more than just a whiff of condescending racism toward Palestinians.

"So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the U.N., we said no and we had him booted out. That doesn't mean he wasn't a nice man. That doesn't mean he wasn't good to America. What it means is, until the Palestinian Authority comes to the table, until the U.N. responds the way they're supposed to, there are no freebees for the Palestinian Authority anymore."

Haley, the daughter of immigrant parents from India, grew up in South Carolina. Was there no inner voice from her childhood to tell her just how racist she sounded when she said, until the Palestinians come to the table and do what we tell them to do, there will be "no more freebees" anymore?

My childhood was in Georgia, next door to Haley's South Carolina. Racist culture remains deeply embedded in both Georgia and South Carolina. In a society which has a history of racism, one way to exercise racial superiority is to demean and dismiss anyone who proposes the end of racist structures.

Haley's second racially-rancid comment came when she dismissed the "ridiculous" Falk Report, as she incorrectly dubs it, by demeaning one of its co-authors, Princeton Professor Richard A. Falk.

"So then they tested us again. And a ridiculous report, the Falk Report, came out. I don't know who the guy is or what he's about, but he's got serious problems. Goes and compares Israel to an apartheid state. So the first thing we do is we call the secretary general and say, this is absolutely ridiculous. You have to pull it. The secretary general immediately pulled the report. And then the director has now resigned."

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"They," from Haley's perspective, are against us. They "test us" with reports that are "ridiculous." This is classic colonial racist thinking where "they and us" live in two different realms.

Haley dismisses the "guy" who was behind the apartheid study as someone who has "serious problems." She has been at her UN post long enough to learn that Richard A. Falk is not just some guy who engages in "Israel-bashing."

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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