On the Importance of being Nikki

Nikki Haley spoke about the Middle East at the UN yesterday.

She spoke directly, forcefully, honestly, and in language almost never heard in that body.

Nikki Haley told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he lacks what is needed to secure peace in the region.  Haley said “(Abbas) invoked an ugly and fictional past, reaching back to the 17th century to paint Israel as a colonialist project engineered by European powers.”

“A speech that indulges in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories is not the speech of a person with the courage and will to seek real peace.”

Nikki Haley told it like it is, and the political establishment is appalled. Earlier in the week former US Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry privately told Abbas that Abbas should “stay strong” in resisting Donald Trump.  Trump will be out of office within a year, said Kerry.  Therefore, there is no reason to get serious about Trump’s policies or positions.

Let’s give the American political establishment credit for this, they mastered the art of how to misread the American people.  These same political minds thought Donald Trump was a joke in 2015.  They gave Bernie Sanders, a crotchety old socialist, no chance of competing against Hillary Clinton?

Just last week, most of the political pundits predicted that the Republicans would suffer immensely if they refused to accept Democratic terms on the legalization of children brought here illegally by their parents, the so-called “Dreamers”,  “Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House” insisted political commentator and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough.  “If they can’t keep the government operating the American people will remember.”

Yes, Mr. Scarborough, the American people will remember.  They will remember how meek and incompetent the Democrats looked.  In the same week that the Democrats had to explain why they were willing to shut down the government, inconveniencing 330,000,000 Americans to force legal status for perhaps 1-4,000,000 Dreamers, and in the same week that John Kerry was doing everything to undercut the current American President, our UN Ambassador was talking like – an American.

We don’t do subtlety well.  Europeans and Asians treat that as a fault.  We revel in it.  It practically defines us.  John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence in handwriting so large that “Fat George in London can read it without his spectacles.”  Franklin Roosevelt said of the business leaders that he blamed for the Great Depression, “they are unanimous in their hatred of me – and I revel in their hatred.”

Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman, dressed down Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in such direct language that it shocked even the henchmen of mass murderer Joseph Stalin. John F. Kennedy stood at the Berlin Wall and said “Ich bein ein Berliner.”  Ronald Reagan stood at the same place and announced “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Now we have Nikki Haley.  More than anyone in the troubled Trump Administration, she stands out.  Her positions have been clear, her prose blunt yet oddly poetic.  She has kicked polite society to the curb, and we are a nation disgusted with polite society.  If you listen to Nikki Haley, you know where America stands.  America stands where it should stand and where the overwhelming majority of Americans want it to stand:

We support Israel.

We recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

We are prepared to recognize a Palestinian State as well, if they make a full peace with Israel and not just a glorified cease fire.

If the Palestinians make such a peace, we can recognize part of Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital.

We no longer will continue to fund UN Agencies like UNRWA that permit anti-Semitic textbooks in their schools, allow their “camps” to be used to hide weapons and perpetuate a fallacy of eternal Palestinian refugee status that is different from any other people in the world.

We will not quietly permit Iran to act with impunity to the detriment of US interests and what the American people believe is right and just.

We will not continue to accept the boatload of anti-Israel UN resolutions that perpetuate the fiction of Israel being a serial human rights violator, and we will call out the countries that vote for these resolutions.

What’s wrong with any of that?  Shouldn’t our appropriate response be, “It’s about time?”  I know that for people like me, who are lifelong Democrats (albeit quite conservative ones, truly a dying breed), I’d take Nikki Haley over Susan Rice any day.  When Nikki Haley speaks, I’m proud to listen.  She will say what needs to be said, not just what is whispered.

I will stand with her.

About the Author
Daniel B, Markind is an attorney based in Philadelphia specializing in real estate, commercial, energy and aviation law. He is the former Chair of the National Legal Committee of the Jewish National Fund of America as well as being a former member of the National Executive Board and the National Chair of the JNF National Future Leadership. He writes frequently on Middle Eastern and energy issues. Mr. Markind lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and children.
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