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Haley's defense of Jerusalem decision proves dead wrong

By Chen Weihua | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-12-16 05:00

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was criticized for lacking international experience when president-elect Donald Trump nominated her for the job on Nov 23, 2016.

But she has shown this past week that she is at least skilled in sophistry.

When the UN Security Council gathered for an emergency meeting last Friday after US President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Haley defended the decision to be good for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, contrary to what the rest of the world believes.

The lone argument was met with strong condemnation from all other 14 Security Council members, including the close US allies of Britain, France and Japan.

Haley then chastised the UN for "outrageously" being "the world's foremost center of hostility towards Israel" for many years.

She said the UN has done much more to damage the prospects for Middle East peace than to advance them, and claimed that Israel will never be, and should never be, bullied into an agreement by the United Nations.

Such disdain for the UN should raise serious concern whether she is still fit for the job. Haley should know that the fact that the UN is headquartered in New York City does not mean that it is under US government control.

Unfortunately the world's arrogant superpower does harbor such a mindset. It needs the UN only when it serves US interests, such as when then US Secretary of State Colin Powell went there in 2003 to justify a planned invasion of Iraq based on false evidence.

Speaking on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday, Haley claimed that "the sky is not falling. If anything, what we're going to see is both sides are going to come to the table."

Maybe she is not reading the news, or just watching US cable news channels that don't really cover the fallout of Trump's decision - the condemnation and protests around the world and the killing and injuries following the decision.

Palestinian President Mohmoud Abbas said he will not meet US Vice-President Mike Pence during the latter's visit to the region next week. It is not clear if the decision made later to delay Pence's visit has anything to do with this.

Just in Jerusalem on Thursday, Israeli forces were dispersing protests and arrested six of the participants. Israel also carried out a series of air raids against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, and Gaza border crossings were closed.

In recent days, a new wave of protests has erupted. In Lebanon, protesters hurled projectiles at the US embassy in Beirut and burned an effigy of Trump, along with US and Israeli flags. In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, thousands of people protested outside the US embassy in Jakarta. Protests also took place in Berlin, the Swedish city of Gothenburg, as well as Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt and the Palestinian territories.

On Wednesday at a summit in Istanbul, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-member group that represents the Muslim world, declared East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine and rejected Trump's decision as "null and void".

The days of protests and riots, which have caused several deaths and more than a thousand injuries, have already made Trump's announcement a bloody decision.

When Haley said "the sky is not falling", she may feel fortunate that there is not yet another Intifada, or uprising, as Hamas has called for. But what happened on the ground there and worldwide in the past week has already proved it was a dumb decision.

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