A “New Sheriff in Town” Is Kicking Up Her Heels

by James M. Wall

Nikki Haley, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, (right) was greeted as a rock star at this year’s AIPAC Washington Conference.

The former governor of South Carolina wowed the crowd of 19,000, in an on-stage interview in which she bragged that she blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to a high UN position, solely because he is a Palestinian.

She followed up by bragging that she had persuaded the UN secretary general to withdraw a report which described Israeli policies as apartheid.

The longest and loudest AIPAC crowd roar came when she brought the house down by proclaiming “the days of Israel-bashing at the United Nations are over.”

She declared her intention to end Israel-bashing by metaphorically combining her footwear with her display of strength:  “I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick them every single time. . . .Anyone that says you can’t get anything done at the U.N., they need to know there’s a new sheriff in town.”

Ha’aretz reported: “Haley embraced the fierce Republican hostility towards the United Nations and [she] is wielding defense of Israel as the sword with which she will slay the organization”.

Speaking in her southern folksy style, Haley, unwittingly perhaps, exposed an attitude which carries more than just a whiff of condescending racism toward Palestinians.

“So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the U.N., we said no and we had him booted out. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a nice man. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t good to America. What it means is, until the Palestinian Authority comes to the table, until the U.N. responds the way they’re supposed to, there are no freebees for the Palestinian Authority anymore.”

Haley, the daughter of immigrant parents from India, grew up in South Carolina. Was there no inner voice from her childhood to tell her just how racist she sounded when she said, until the Palestinians come to the table and do what we tell them to do, there will be “no more freebees” anymore?

My childhood was in Georgia, next door to Haley’s South Carolina. Racist culture remains deeply embedded in both Georgia and South Carolina. In a society which has a history of racism, one way to exercise racial superiority is to demean and dismiss anyone who proposes the end of racist structures.

Haley’s second racially-rancid comment came when she dismissed the “ridiculous” Falk Report, as she incorrectly dubs it, by demeaning one of its co-authors, Princeton Professor Richard A. Falk.

So then they tested us again. And a ridiculous report, the Falk Report, came out. I don’t know who the guy is or what he’s about, but he’s got serious problems. Goes and compares Israel to an apartheid state. So the first thing we do is we call the secretary general and say, this is absolutely ridiculous. You have to pull it. The secretary general immediately pulled the report. And then the director has now resigned.

“They”, from Haley’s perspective, are against us. They “test us” with reports that are “ridiculous”.  This is classic colonial racist thinking where “they and us” live in two different realms.

Haley dismisses the “guy” who was behind the apartheid study as someone who has “serious problems”. She has been at her UN post long enough to learn that Richard A. Falk is not just some guy who engages in “Israel-bashing”.

Falk, as Haley should have known, is a UN veteran who was asked by Rima Khalaf, Executive Director of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), (right) to co-author an apartheid study with Professor Virginia Tilley, a professor of political science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

 Falk had both the experience and the training that made him the right person to share preparation of the report with Professor Tilley.

On March 26, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” Falk replaced South African professor John Dugard who left his post in June 2008 after seven years. Falk’s appointment expired in May 2014. (Wikipedia)

Haley should have been better prepared for her first AIPAC appearance. Her record shows signs of sensitivity in racial matters. She was appropriately lauded for her role in persuading the South Carolina legislature to agree that the Confederate flag was no longer an appropriate banner to wave over the state capitol.

She also has skills as a political orator. She is now gaining experience for future higher office. Some have even touted her as a Republican opponent against Trump in 2020.

If she desires such a future, and plans to continue courting American Jews, she should be aware that the mighty AIPAC is showing signs of wear. By 2020, opposition to Israel among American Jews could escalate to levels that would dramatically shift the U.S. political landscape.

This opposition this year surfaced on the streets of Washington while Haley was being interviewed on AIPAC’s main stage. 

Ha’aretz reported:

Hundreds of young Jewish American activists marched outside of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington. 

The activists, who oppose AIPAC’s support for the policies of the current Israeli government on the settlements, carried signs and chanted calls to end the occupation. Some chained themselves to the entrance of the conference center, blocking it.

IfNotNow, a group of young, left-wing American Jews organized the event, which was billed as a “Reclaim, Resist, and Reimagine” rally. Almost 700 people said they would attend on the event’s Facebook page.

Protesters posted photographs and videos on Twitter using the hashtags #ResistAIPAC and #JewishResistance.

If Nikki Haley wants to reach that growing number of resisting American Jews in her future campaigns, she will need an internal shift away from booting Palestinians out of jobs just because they are Palestinians.

She will also need to understand UN history and the valuable role played by Americans like Richard Falk, before she bashes that world body . 

She will also need to recognize that her job as UN ambassador is to serve the best interests of her nation and its values, not the interests and illegal apartheid values of a foreign state. 

To read Haley’s interview, click here for the full text.

Her full 17-minute interview with Dan Señor is below:

The picture of Nikki Haley at AIPAC in Washington this week is an AP Photo by Jose Luis Magana.

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
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13 Responses to A “New Sheriff in Town” Is Kicking Up Her Heels

  1. hanna tosheh says:

    Just follow the money trail. She got paid by Aipac, or someone else. Or she is following trump’s policies of fake news

  2. John Kleinheksel says:

    What a review, Jim, of Ms. Haley’ lamentable remarks to AIPAC.
    Sad, very sad. Makes me angry and disappointed to say the least.
    She is a pitiful voice from the past. The real voices were outside the conference hall, calling for a new day. We will join them, not Mr. Trump and his kind of folks. JRK

  3. I thought that I detested the essence of Samantha Power, but this Haley person is Power on steroids. I suppose that I should be ashamed to write “May God Damn Nikki Haley,” but that will form a large share of my supplicatory prayer this evening. In this 2017 and at her UN position, she is a discredit to any and all things decent and an extraordinary affront to the teachings and spiritual imperative of Jesus Christ.

  4. Pauline Coffman says:

    Among other things I could say about Ms. Haley, she is not proving to be open to “one state or two states…whatever they want”. The racism description is apt. Of course, Edward Said would term it “orientalism,” wouldn’t he? Hard to believe this is the same woman that gave the moving statement lamenting the Dylan Rood shootings (and killings) in the South Carolina church.

  5. gen katz says:

    I couldn’t stand to listen to her. Revolting and dangerous.

  6. AWAD SIFRI says:

    All Nikki Haley would enthusiastically answer is, “How High?”, when her AIPAC Masters ask her to jump for Israel. She should be wearing a cap that states, “Israel Trumps America”.
    Nikki should not be wearing her kikki shoes, whether fashionable, or not. What she should wear, instead, are thick red boots so she can join Israeli occupation soldiers and terrorist settlers, as they slaughter Palestinians on their next “mowing” operation of Gaza, or East Jerusalem, or Bethlehem, or Hebron, or Nablus.
    Nikki Haley is a disgrace to the America we love.

  7. Sami Joseph says:

    Clearly, she is devoid of any shame and a disgrace to her ancestry, let alone her duty to put her adoptive country’s interests above kowtowing to parasites fleecing her compatriot taxpayers.

  8. Philip Wayne Hudson says:

    Trump is in the White House. Nikki Haley, a Trump surrogate is in the UN. May the King of the New Jerusalem, the one not made by hands, sustain us until he comes in the clouds of Glory.

    Roberthstiver, I agree with how you feel about Niki Haley. But I say Jesus save her soul and transform her beliefs and actions.

    – Philip Hudson

  9. Samia Khoury says:

    She admits she is aggressive, but furthermore it is her arrogance like the government that she is supporting that makes her blind to the truth. I fully asgree with Gen; indeed revolting. Nevertheless thank you for sharing it. Maybe she walks high with her high heels, but she might end up tripping because she is walking in the wrong path.

  10. Richard Greve says:

    One of the most hateful and ignorant performances of a UN Ambassadors from the US that I have ever heard. I am ashamed that she represents the US, and that we have crazed Mr. Trump as our leader. Her statements were the essence of hubris. These mighty will fall.

  11. Kyle Holberg says:

    Sadly, Ms. Haley has yet to learn the art of diplomacy.

  12. C. Taraziu says:

    Nikki Haley is a disgrace to the USA, where we strive to live by high moral and impartial standards. she is a vile racist and a pandering lapdog to her pay masters at AIPAC. In any other country she would have been labelled with treason for putting the interest if another country ahead of the interests of her own . By demeaning Prof. Falk she has displayed a mean streak not to mention that insulting Ex PM Salam Fayyad for no other reason than being a Palestinian is beyond the pale. Using her own metaphor, her dignity does not even match his old pair of shoes.

  13. Patricia says:

    I am ashamed, embarrassed, appalled by the lack of conscience leadership in the US Government. I apologize to the world. Now let’s get busy and legally, non- violently remove these jerks!

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