UN­GRATE­FUL NA­TIONS

New York Post - - POST OPINION - NIKKI HA­LEY

US Am­bas­sador to the UN Nikki Ha­ley de­liv­ered the fol­low­ing re­marks on Thurs­day be­fore a UN Gen­eral Assem­bly vote to con­demn Pres­i­dent Trump’s recog­ni­tion of Jerusalem as the cap­i­tal of Is­rael.

TO its shame, the United Na­tions has long been a hos­tile place for the state of Is­rael. Both the cur­rent and the pre­vi­ous sec­re­tary-gen­er­als have ob­jected to the UN’s dis­pro­por­tion­ate fo­cus on Is­rael. It’s a wrong that un­der­mines the cred­i­bil­ity of this in­sti­tu­tion, and that in turn is harm­ful for the en­tire world.

I’ve of­ten won­dered why, in the face of such hos­til­ity, Is­rael has cho­sen to re­main a mem­ber of this body. And then I re­mem­ber that Is­rael has cho­sen to re­main in this in­sti­tu­tion be­cause it’s im­por­tant to stand up for your­self. Is­rael must stand up for its own sur­vival as a na­tion; but it also stands up for the ideals of free­dom and hu­man dig­nity that the United Na­tions is sup­posed to be about.

Stand­ing here to­day, be­ing forced to de­fend sovereignty and the in­tegrity of my coun­try — the United States of Amer­ica — many of the same thoughts have come to mind. The United States is by far the sin­gle largest con­trib­u­tor to the United Na­tions and its agen­cies.

We do this, in part, in or­der to ad­vance our val­ues and our in­ter­ests. When that hap­pens, our par­tic­i­pa­tion in the UN pro­duces great good for the world. To­gether we feed, clothe and ed­u­cate des­per­ate peo­ple. We nur­ture and sus- tain frag­ile peace in con­flict ar­eas through­out the world. And we hold out­law regimes ac­count­able.

We do this be­cause it rep­re­sents who we are. It is our Amer­i­can way.

But we’ll be hon­est with you. When we make gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions to the UN, we also have a le­git­i­mate ex­pec­ta­tion that our good will is rec­og­nized and re­spected.

When a na­tion is sin­gled out for at­tack in this or­ga­ni­za­tion, that na­tion is dis­re­spected. What’s more, that na­tion is asked to pay for the “priv­i­lege” of be­ing dis­re­spected.

In the case of the United States, we are asked to pay more than any­one else for that du­bi­ous priv­i­lege. Un­like in some UN mem­ber coun­tries, the United States gov­ern­ment is an­swer­able to its peo­ple. As such, we have an obli­ga­tion to ac­knowl­edge when our po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal is be­ing poorly spent.

We have an obli­ga­tion to de­mand more for our in­vest­ment. And if our in­vest­ment fails, we have an obli­ga­tion to spend our re­sources in more pro­duc­tive ways. Those are the thoughts that come to mind when we con­sider the res­o­lu­tion be­fore us to­day.

The ar­gu­ments about the pres­i­dent’s de­ci­sion to move the Amer­i­can em­bassy to Jerusalem have al- ready been made. They are by now well known.

The de­ci­sion was in ac­cor­dance to US law dat­ing back to 1995, and its po­si­tion has been re­peat­edly en­dorsed by the Amer­i­can peo­ple ever since. The de­ci­sion does not pre­judge any fi­nal-sta­tus is­sues, in­clud­ing Jerusalem’s bound­aries. The de­ci­sion does not pre­clude a two-state so­lu­tion, if the par­ties agree to that. The de­ci­sion does noth­ing to harm peace ef­forts.

Rather, the pres­i­dent’s de­ci­sion re­flects the will of the Amer­i­can peo­ple and our right as a na­tion to choose the lo­ca­tion of our em­bassy. There is no need to de­scribe it fur­ther.

In­stead, there is a larger point to make. The United States will re­mem­ber this day in which it was sin­gled out for at­tack in the Gen­eral Assem­bly for the very act of ex­er­cis­ing our right as a sov­er­eign na­tion. We will re­mem­ber it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest con­tri­bu­tion to the United Na­tions. And we will re­mem­ber it when so many coun­tries come call­ing on us, as they so of­ten do, to pay even more and to use our in­flu­ence for their ben­e­fit.

Amer­ica will put our em­bassy in Jerusalem. That is what the Amer­i­can peo­ple want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Na­tions will make any dif­fer­ence on that.

But this vote will make a dif­fer­ence on how Amer­i­cans look at the UN and on how we look at coun­tries who dis­re­spect us in the UN. And this vote will be re­mem­bered.

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