In many Jewish households on Friday nights, parents bless their daughters in the names of our matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah. We do so to hold our highest role models to our girls. Lately though, I’ve had the creeping inclination to consider another name to this list of women in whose footsteps I hope my daughter will follow: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Haley represents our country with bold, honorable and principled leadership. In no forum are these traits more lacking than the United Nations. In no place are they more sorely required. And on no issue does this present itself more clearly than her proud and consistent stand in defense of Israel.
Just this week, Haley announced that the U.S. delegation would withdraw from the UN Human Right Council – in large part because of its history of unfairly targeting and condemning Israel while turning a blind eye toward human-rights violators like Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Earlier this year, when mothers and fathers in southern Israel were forced to wake their children and run to bomb shelters as rockets rained down from Gaza, Haley reassured these parents that their fears will be heard. Not only did she condemn these attacks, but she also called for a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting on Gaza-based terror.
This may seem like a logical response to such violence, but it was the first time that the United States had called for such a meeting to address the issue, despite the fact that more than 10,000 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza during the last 17 years.
Unsurprisingly, the emergency meeting to examine the true injustice—Palestinian terrorism—hasn’t been scheduled. But the move flipped U.N. standard operating procedure to condemn Israel in an emergency meeting for defending itself against terror—be it rockets, riots or stabbings. It’s not the first time either that Haley has grabbed headlines for her leadership.
Recently, she vetoed a resolution sponsored by Kuwait that made no mention of Hamas, yet condemned Israel for the “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate” use of force “against Palestinian civilians,” and then she forced the Security Council to consider a measure condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization. And just this week, she gathered enough votes to pass an amendment to a Palestinian-backed resolution that would have condemned Hamas. When her amendment was sidelined by a procedural maneuver, she called the effort to obstruct the vote “shameful.”
She has stopped the United Nations from appointing a Palestinian diplomat to a U.N. mission in Libya.
She has stopped the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein from publishing a blacklist of companies that do business with Israel in the West Bank, Eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
And she has stopped a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that would have called for the reversal of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.
These moves have made her the most popular politician in America. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 63 percent of American voters approve of Haley’s decision-making skills. Her approval spans party lines: 75 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats say they approve of how she’s handling her job.
I’ve seen the widespread admiration for her leadership play out in public. She has been lauded in the press, feted at pro-Israel conferences and will be the keynote speaker at the annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Washington Summit on July 23.
When she speaks, the pro-Israel community listens.
Last month, I was privileged to attend the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, where I experienced this “Haley effect” myself. The mere mention of her name elicited spontaneous and prolonged applause from the crowd in attendance. She has the respect of her fellow diplomats, the admiration of Americans of all political stripes and the appreciation of the Israelis.
How could I not consider her to be a role model for my own daughters?
No, Nikki Haley is not a Jewish matriarch, but she is a heroine for Israel nonetheless, who is well on her way to being the world’s next great diplomat.
Shari Dollinger is the co-executive director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).