When he wasn’t busy tweeting images of President Trump under crosshairs, CNN’s Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza was claiming to break the news that Vice President Mike Pence is positioning himself for a presidential run in 2024. I’m not sure how much this factoid is either news or breaking, but it undoubtedly got clicks and attention which was the point of the story.
Supposing that this bit of breaking news is in fact the common sense that most of us already anticipated, Pence may find himself upstaged by someone else continuing their own presidential preparedness exercises – UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Unlike Pence, whose job requires him to regularly offer fealty to the President, and as Cillizza’s story pointed out is always on a short leash when it comes to personal posturing and reputation building (no one shows up the king), Haley is largely free to make a name for herself. And that’s exactly what she’s doing, showing more fortitude and guts in the halls of that corrupt international body than America has seen in decades.
Speaking to the Council, calmly yet firmly, Haley criticized the United Nations' tolerance for violence against Israel, asking her colleagues whether they would accept this kind of behavior from any other nation if the target wasn't the Jewish people, and blaming the terrorist organization, Hamas, for both inciting the violence, and using Palestinians as human shields.
“Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy,” Haley told the U.N. “This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday.”
It's no secret that she’s right. But what’s remarkable is that she actually said this. The world is not used to such candor, blunt honesty, and fearless defense of Israel from the United States. For decades, in the name of peace, we have delicately tiptoed around publicly identifying and shaming the Palestinian terror cells that make peace in Gaza and all of the Middle East a fantasy.
The evidence of Hamas-sponsored terror even in the face of continued concessions from Israel has always been plentiful. But the United States sat on it, ignored it, or downplayed it thinking that appeasing militants would lead to peace and a “two-state solution.” That strategy has not worked, Haley knows it, and has declared a new day.
Haley added, in graphic detail, a description of how Hamas uses civilians to disguise terrorist activity, tying Molotov cocktails to kite strings and encouraging protesters to encroach on Israel's borders, issuing demands over loudspeakers and bullhorns — and then excoriated the Security Council for condemning Israel for defending its borders.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. In fact, the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained,” Haley said.
Much less indeed. If this rock-solid performance of shaming the theocrats, tyrannies, imams, and pot-bellied dictators who now run the show at the UN wasn’t already a thing of beauty, Haley delivered one more message to them not through her words but through her walk:
Haley then left the chamber before the Palestinian delegation, there to complain about Israel's "unjustified" behavior and "indiscriminate" killing, began their presentation.
Nikki Haley thinks the UN should be a place where honest brokers pursue peace in our world. When it devolves back into the circus sideshow it so often is, Haley has signaled she has no desire to participate. That’s exactly as it should be.