newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Haley: Israel is fighting against America’s enemies

“What happened on Oct. 7 is pure evil, and can never be forgotten,” said the former ambassador to the United Nations.

Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Knesset member Danny Danon visit the makeshift memorial at the site of the Supernova music festival massacre in southern Israel, May 27, 2024. Credit: Courtesy.
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Knesset member Danny Danon visit the makeshift memorial at the site of the Supernova music festival massacre in southern Israel, May 27, 2024. Credit: Courtesy.

Israel is fighting against the enemies of the United States in a war orchestrated by Iran, helped by Russian intelligence and funded by money from China, said Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and governor of South Carolina, in Israel on Monday.

A former Republican presidential candidate known for her stalwart support for Israel, she spoke during a solidarity visit to communities near the Gaza Strip and just days after announcing that she would be voting for former President Donald Trump in November’s election.

Haley said that the nearly-eight-month-old Israel-Hamas war cannot be fixed with a political agreement because an entire generation of Palestinians is steeped in Hamas ideology—something that needs to be changed for progress to move forward.

“Don’t listen to media bites that you hear,” she said at the site of Sderot’s former police station, which was destroyed in a battle after Hamas invaders holed up inside in October. “America is with you.”

After a tour of Kibbutz Nir Oz and the site of the Supernova music festival in the desert, which has been turned into a makeshift memorial, Haley called the cross-border attack on Oct. 7, when terrorists killed some 1,200 people and abducted 252 others to Gaza, “one of the most brutal massacres” she has ever seen.

“What happened on Oct. 7 is pure evil and can never be forgotten,” she said.

“Imagine if this happened in America on a Sunday. What would we feel? What would be going through? We wouldn’t stop and we wouldn’t let it go.

“If we say ‘Never again’ we have to be truthful: These are all murderers and accomplices,” Haley said after listing Iran, Russia and China.

Knesset member Danny Danon, who was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations during Haley’s tenure there, accompanied her on the tour.

“If we will not destroy Hamas and continue this war, they will do it over and over again,” he said.

“I tell my Israeli friends that we should take Hamas at their word” when it says it intends to repeat Oct. 7 over and over again, Haley responded.

“We need your moral clarity. We want your voice to be heard,” he told her.

Haley continued, “I thought I had seen it all at the U.N.,” calling the recent anti-Israel rulings by international courts in The Hague “disgusting.”

“I would have walked out,” she said of the moment of silence the world body recently marked for the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19. And of the pro-Hamas protests on U.S. college campuses that took place throughout the spring: “Arab money is funding our colleges. We need to get foreign funding out of the country.

“There is no gray areas between Iran and Hamas, and freedom-loving countries who want peace,” Haley said. “So pick a side. I know which side I am on.”

Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Knesset member Danny Danon visit Kibbutz Nir Oz near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip on May 27, 2024. Credit: Courtesy.

Walking through the fields of the massacre

During a desert heat wave, with temperatures touching the century mark, Haley walked through the destroyed homes at Nir Oz, where one in four residents was either killed or abducted.

She then toured the nearby music festival site, where more than 300 people were murdered on that fateful Shabbat. The ambassador said it made her think of her own children.

Tali Binner, 28, from the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon, told Haley, “I didn’t survive; I’m here only by chance.” She survived the massacre by hiding in a trailer and witnessed friends being dismembered, raped and killed.

Haley told her, “Every time you tell it, it heals you. I know it’s hard. Keep going,” before embracing her as sand swirled in the air.

Bill Silverstein from Chicago shouted, “Nikki, thank you so much for being here.” He was part of a group of Americans on a solidarity mission with the Jewish United Fund of Chicago (JUF) that was touring the site at the same time. “It means a lot,” he said.

“This story is not told [enough],” Haley responded. “You can’t walk through that [the festival site] without feeling a tremendous amount of emotion.”

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