Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, announced in October that she would retire from her post at the end of 2018.
On Tuesday, she addressed the U.N. general assembly for the final time as the U.S. ambassador, where she admittedly deviated from her standard practice of not directly addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to blast the U.N. for its continual condemnation of Israel while failing to denounce Palestinian terrorist groups.
What did Haley say?
Haley came out of the gate swinging, blasting the U.N. for its "one-sided" discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"The problems of the Middle East are numerous, and yet we spend vastly disproportionate amount of time on just one of them. And the U.N. has shown itself to be hopelessly biased, as we witnessed again just two weeks ago when the general assembly failed to condemn Hamas's terrorist activity against Israel," Haley said.
The former South Carolina governor lamented that her attempts to bring additional value to the U.N. general assembly's monthly meeting by discussing other pressing Middle East issues — such as Iran's meddling, Hamas and Hezbollah, the Syrian War, Iraqi and Yemeni refugees, and other humanitarian crises — have been futile because the U.N. has an "obsession" with Israel.
Haley went on to explain that peace is necessary for Israel and Palestine. But in the end, it's going to be most beneficial for Palestinians, who are trapped under the thumb of leaders sympathetic to terrorists, who make peace impossible.
"It is time we faced a hard truth: both sides would benefit greatly from a peace agreement, but the Palestinians would benefit more, and the Israelis would risk more," Haley explained.
Later, Haley directly addressed diplomats from other Middle East countries, warning them their posture toward Israel and Palestine will contribute monumental differences to whether or not peace is achieved, as well as confronting them for apparent hypocrisy.
To my Arab friends, I have heard privately from many of you. You've said that you know a solution is urgently needed. But your governments have not been willing to talk to your constituencies about what is realistic or to the Palestinian leadership about the harm they're doing to their very own people. By taking the easy way, you are really saying that the Palestinian people are not a priority for you. Because if they were, you would all be in a room helping bring both sides to the table.
In the end, Haley reiterated America's steadfast support for Israel and the Israeli people — a commitment Haley said will never change.
"Whatever it is that others decide, the world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support of Israel, its people, and its security. That is an unshakable bond between our two peoples," she said. "And it is that bond — more than anything else — that makes peace possible."
Why is Haley resigning?
After joining the Trump administration in its infancy, Haley informed President Donald Trump earlier this year that she wanted to "take a break" at the year's conclusion. Prior to joining the administration, Haley served as governor of South Carolina for six years.
There was never an indication the relationship between Haley and Trump was anything but amicable. Trump, unlike many of his other departed top-level staffers, has only ever showered Haley with praise.
Trump nominated Heather Nauert, who has served as the spokeswoman of the State Department since April 2017, to succeed Haley.