Despite widespread criticism and reignited violence in the region, United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has defended the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.
In an 8-minute-long speech at the UN Security Council, Haley declared that Israel has been the capital of Jerusalem for thousands of years, even through the turmoil of land dispute and subsequent war. Haley also put forward the assertion that such a political move had been promised by Republicans and Democrats alike, but that President Trump is the only one who has acted on his convictions.
“The Jewish people are a patient people. Throughout 3,000 years of civilization, conquest, exile and return, Jerusalem has remained their spiritual home,” Haley said in her opening remarks.
“In 1995, the US Congress declared that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel and that the US embassy should be located in Jerusalem. President’s Clinton, Bush and Obama all agreed with that position, but they did not act. They delayed with the hope that a peace process would produce results. Results that never came.”
Haley continued, explaining that the US could only wait so long before declaring Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel.
“This week, President Trump made the decision to no longer deny the will of the American people,” Haley bellowed. The ambassador went on to highlight the significance of the central Israeli government building, the “Knesset,” being located in Jerusalem.
This, Haley argues, sets down a marker and should lead other nations to recognize Jerusalem as the true political capital of Israel; now, she says, it is time for the nations of the world to follow the lead of the United States. “Israel, like all nations, has the right to determine its capital city,” Haley added.
Many world leaders have accused Trump of being reckless and short-sighted in his decision to enshrine Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Others, such as Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi, argue that the decision effectively ends the Trump’s role in any future peace negotiations in the region. “We will not engage in any peace process where the Americans are in control,” she said, according to ABC News.
“We will take Israel to the International Criminal Court because we do need to protect ourselves, we do need accountability for Israel.” She continued: “The American Congress and successive American administrations have been blackmailing the Palestinians, that if you go there you will be punished. So what? There’s nothing left to punish us with.”
Despite the critics, Haley assured the UN that the Trump administration remains committed to “achieving a lasting peace agreement.”
“We support a two-state solution if agreed to by the parties,” she said, adding: “our actions are intended to advance the cause of peace.”
Haley went on to admit that “change is hard” but that “we should never doubt what truth can do.”
“We should never doubt that when we face the truth, believe in the human spirit and encourage each other, peace can happen,” she declared.
The ambassador also directly addressed those who would seek to use the announcement as justification for acts of violence. “To those who do not act in good faith. To any person, leader, country or terrorist group that uses this week’s decision as a pretext for violence, you are only showing yourselves to be unfit partners of peace.”
In conclusion, Haley issued a firm word on the role of the UN, admonishing them for their anti-Israeli sentiment:
“And finally, I will not let this moment pass without a comment about the United Nations itself. Over many years the United Nations has outrageously been at the world’s foremost centers of hostility towards Israel. The U.N. has done much more damage to the prospects for Middle East peace than to advance them. We will not be a party to that. The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations. And the United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.”
“Israel will never be, and should never be, bullied into an agreement by the United Nations.”
You can watch Haley’s full speech below.
(H/T: The Blaze)