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Israel versus the UN -- the Nikki Haley doctrine

By       Message Ramzy Baroud     Permalink
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From Arab News

From flickr.com: Ambassador Nikki Haley Addresses the U.N. Human Rights Council {MID-134065}
Ambassador Nikki Haley Addresses the U.N. Human Rights Council
(Image by US Mission Geneva)
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Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, seems to be championing a single cause: Israel.

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When Haley speaks about Israel, her language is not merely emotive nor tailored to fit the need of a specific occasion. Rather, her words are resolute, consistent and are matched by a clear plan of action.

Along with Haley, the rightwing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is moving fast to cultivate the unique opportunity of dismissing the UN, and thus, any attempt at criticizing the Israeli occupation.

Unlike previous UN ambassadors who strongly backed Israel, Haley refrains from any coded language or any attempt, however poor, to appear balanced. Last March, she told a crowd of 18,000 supporters at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual policy conference that this is a new era for US-Israel relations.

"I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement," she told a crowd thrilled by her speech. "It's because if I see something wrong, we're going to kick 'em every single time."

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Trump's new ambassador condemned, in retrospect, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which strongly criticized Israel's illegal settlements. While still in its final days in office, the Obama administration did not vote for -- but did not veto the resolution, either -- thus setting a precedent that has not been witnessed in many years.

The US abstention, according to Haley, was as if the "entire country felt a kick in the gut."

What made Israel particularly angry over Obama's last act at the UN was the fact that it violated a tradition that has extended for many years, most notably during the term of John Negroponte, US Ambassador to the UN, during former President George W. Bush's first term in office.

What became known as the "Negroponte doctrine" was a declared US policy -- that Washington will oppose any resolution that criticizes Israel that does not also condemn Palestinians.

But Israel, not the Palestinians, is the occupying power that refuses to honor dozens of UN resolutions and various international treaties and laws. By making that decision, and, indeed, following through to ensure its implementation, the US managed to sideline the UN as an "irrelevant" institution.

Sidelining the UN, then, also meant that the US would have complete control over managing the Middle East, but especially the situation in Palestine.

However, under Trump, even the US-led and self-tailored "peace process" has become obsolete.

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This is the real moral but, also political, crisis of the Haley doctrine, for it goes beyond Negroponte's silencing of any criticism of Israel at the UN, into entirely removing the UN -- thus international law -- from being a factor in resolving the conflict.

"The ambassador seems to have no regard for her country's allies, or the possible repercussions of dismissing the only international body that still serves as a platform for international engagement and conflict resolution." Ramzy Baroud

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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

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