India-Israel Relations Take a Step Forward

Last Friday, India abstained from a vote on a UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning Israel’s conduct during the most recent Gaza war; on Tuesday, a delegation of Indian diplomats visited Israel. Raphael Ahren puts these developments in context:

Although New Delhi emphasized that its vote did not signal any change in its policy of support for the Palestinian cause, India’s abstention was celebrated in Israel as a remarkable diplomatic achievement. . . .

As a longstanding member of the non-aligned movement, which always votes with the Palestinians and against Israel, India’s abstention last Friday, which followed a telephone conversation between Benjamin Netanyahu and [India’s Narendra] Modi, indeed signaled a historic change. . . . On June 1, India also abstained in a vote on whether to grant the [Hamas-affiliated] Palestinian Return Center “consultative status” at the UN Economic and Social Council’s NGO committee.

Modi, who is expected in Israel later this year in what would be a historic first visit of an Indian prime minister, has accelerated the rapprochement with Jerusalem. While strong defense and business ties existed before he came to power in April 2014, he made the relationship much more visible.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Israel-India relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, United Nations

Nikki Haley Succeeded at the UN Because She Saw It for What It Is

Oct. 15 2018

Last week, Nikki Haley announced that she will be stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year. When President Trump appointed her to the position, she had behind her a successful tenure as governor of South Carolina, but no prior experience in foreign policy. This, writes Seth Lispky, turned out to have been her greatest asset:

What a contrast [Haley provided] to the string of ambassadors who fell on their faces in the swamp of Turtle Bay. That’s particularly true of the two envoys under President Barack Obama. [The] “experienced” hands who came before her proceeded to fail. Their key misconception was the notion that the United Nations is part of the solution to the world’s thorniest problems. Its charter was a vast treaty designed by diplomats to achieve “peace,” “security,” and “harmony.”

What hogwash.

Haley, by contrast, may have come in without experience—but that meant she also lacked for illusions. What a difference when someone knows that they’re in a viper pit—that the UN is itself the problem. And has the gumption to say so.

This became apparent the instant Haley opened her first press conference, [in which she said of the UN’s obsessive fixation on condemning the Jewish state]: “I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. . . . I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

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Read more at New York Post

More about: Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, US-Israel relations