Nikki Haley Resets America’s Moral Compass at the UN

March 17 2017

From the very beginning of her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley has forcefully criticized that body’s obsession with condemning Israel and its lack of concern over the horrors in Syria, nuclear proliferation in North Korea, and other weighty issues. She has now decried the most recent attempt to slander the Jewish state, as Noah Rothman writes:

Perhaps the most promising display of righteousness occurred this week when Ambassador Haley condemned the repulsive report issued by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. The report, issued by a group based in Beirut comprising eighteen Arab nations—including the non-existent “state of Palestine”—accused Israel of imposing “apartheid” on the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. Among the report’s authors was the former special UN rapporteur Richard Falk, whose anti-Israel prejudice is matched by few. Falk has praised terrorist organizations like Hamas, likening them to the French resistance [during World War II], excused the targeting of Israeli Jews in attacks, and [trafficked in 9/11 conspiracy theories]. The report is so obviously detached from reality that even the United Nations secretary-general’s office refused to endorse its findings. . . .

Haley’s ascension to the post of UN ambassador represents a repudiation of the Obama administration’s approach of creating “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel—and not a solitary one. Barack Obama’s efforts to remake the Middle East and rehabilitate Iran had the unintended effect of drawing Israel closer to its Sunni Arab-dominated neighbors. The Trump administration’s renewed commitment to Israel ensures that the Jewish state is less isolated than ever.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Israel & Zionism, Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations

How Israel Should Approach Syria in the Wake of the U.S. Airstrikes

April 27 2017

Nearly three weeks after a U.S. attack on a Syrian airbase, it remains unclear if Washington will start working actively against the Assad regime or simply enforce red lines. Ilan Goldenberg argues that in either case Israel should stick to the strategy it has been pursuing all along—one that will only be helped by greater American involvement:

The good news is that much of the area of southern Syria is now controlled by a group of moderate Sunni forces known as the Southern Front. This group is an alliance of smaller local militias that has been supported by the United States and Jordan with some quiet support from Israel. As a result, southern Syria has become one of the most stable areas in the country, resulting in a default buffer zone that protects both Israel and Jordan. The key for Israel will be to ensure that in any final resolution of the Syrian conflict or change in Trump administration policy, the Southern Front remains in place. . . .

[Another] central objective for Israel will be to prevent the proliferation of chemical weapons in Syria that could get into the hands of extremists who may launch attacks on Israeli civilians. At the start of the Syria conflict this was the foremost Israeli priority. . . . The priority Israel places on this issue also explains why the Israeli minister of defense, Avigdor Liberman, came out so strongly in support of the military strikes against the Assad regime, drawing a sharp rebuke from Vladimir Putin. In most instances, Israel has tried to avoid antagonizing Russia or getting in the middle of U.S-Russian competition, but on this particular matter it is highly invested in the American position.

Finally, Israel . . . has a broader overarching objective of trying to limit Iranian influence in Syria. . . . Iranian-supported militias and operatives of the Qods Force [Iran’s elite expeditionary troops] are deeply enmeshed inside the Syrian regime at this point, and Israel likely recognizes that. Iran will continue to have influence in Syria and be able to use its allies in Damascus to supply and strengthen Hizballah. All Israel can do is push for American policies that limit Tehran’s influence in Syria to the largest extent possible, while recognizing the reality of the situation on the ground.

Read more at Matzav

More about: Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy