During her tenure as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, which will end later this year, according to the terms of her resignation on Oct. 9, Nikki Haley’s job often came down to defending Israel. When 64 countries decided not to condemn the United States for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, she threw them a well-publicized party. She withdrew the United States from UNESCO, the U.N. cultural affiliate, and helped bring about the end of U.S. contributions to UNRWA, the aid agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. For this and other efforts, she drew plaudits from AIPAC, President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked her for work in the “uncompromising struggle against hypocrisy at the U.N., and on behalf of the truth and justice of our country.”
Her resignation has created speculation as to her future plans. Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the conservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, tweeted that he looked forward to “welcoming [Haley] back to public service as President of the United States.”
Dubowitz is far from alone in his praise of Haley. Pro-Israel groups were universal in their praise of Haley in the wake of her departure.
AIPAC, which rarely weighs in on individuals, tweeted its appreciation for the former ambassador and governor of South Carolina. “Thank you for consistently standing up for America’s interests and our democratic ally, Israel.”
Other groups were more effusive in their praise, and more willing to tie their support for Haley to their distaste for the United Nations.
“Ambassador Haley’s voice was clear and consistent in championing the causes of human rights and democracy across the globe,” Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox advocacy group, wrote in a statement. “Her strong support of Israel and articulate defense of its security made her a deeply respected figure in the Orthodox Jewish community Agudath Israel represents and among citizens of goodwill of all faiths. She will be long remembered as a fearless fighter against the pervasive anti-Israel hypocrisy of the United Nations.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations echoed the sentiment.
“In a time when the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel is constantly questioned in U.N. fora, Ambassador Haley demanded that the U.N. treat Israel as it would any other nation, and she repeatedly took the floor of the U.N. to denounce the blatant and absurd mistreatment of the world’s only Jewish State,” the conference said in a statement. “As an effective, courageous leader who reshaped the debate in the U.N., Ambassador Haley stood for the values and principles that inspired the creation of this world body.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition praised Haley for her “bold leadership and moral clarity” during her tenure. “Haley,” the group said, “has been instrumental in reclaiming American leadership on the global stage, in stark contrast to the previous eight years.”
“Our country is better because of her service,” the RJC statement concluded.
Even Ivanka Trump weighed in. Trump, who was briefly rumored to have been under consideration to replace Haley, quickly quashed that talk, but praised Haley anyway, calling her a “bold reformer and has been an unwavering champion of truth, principled realism and integrity within the United Nations.”
“Jared and I are grateful for her friendship — a true blessing in our lives!” she finished her tweet with.
Though praise for Haley almost exclusively came from conservative circles, at least one Democrat spoke up: New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez.
“I want to thank Ambassador Haley for her willingness to express moral clarity to the world and to President Trump, and promote American values and leadership on the global stage, even when she lacked the backing of the White House or State Department,” the senator said in a statement.
As of press time, neither the Jewish Democratic Council of America nor J Street had released a statement regarding the announcement of Haley’s retirement.