Nikki Haley Slams BDS Movement at UN: It Is Rooted in 'Ancient Hatred,' Has No Connection to 'Justice'

March 30, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley lambasted the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel on Wednesday during her keynote speech at the second annual "Ambassadors Against BDS" event in the U.N. Security Council.

BDS is a Palestinian-led movement to wage economic war on Israel in an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state. Supporters argue it is an effort to push back against an Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

Haley, who was the first governor to sign legislation to combat the BDS movement, has been an outspoken supporter of Israel in her brief time as ambassador to the U.N. and was a crowd favorite Monday when she spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference.

"The days of Israel bashing [at the U.N.] are over," Haley said at AIPAC to huge applause.

During her remarks Wednesday, Haley took on the BDS movement, which has gained traction on many Western college campuses, including in the United States.

"The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same," she said. "They both seek to deny Israel's right to exist."

"They are both efforts to intimidate her friends and embolden her enemies," Haley continued. "They are both extensions of an ancient hatred."

Haley called it "tragic" that the U.N. and many human rights activists devote much of their energy to targeting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, when authoritarian states around the world are committing human rights abuses.

"And how tragic is it that of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel, " Haley said. "We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria. Not Israel."

"It makes absolutely no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice," she added.

Haley told the audience that it has the ability to let BDS supporters know the United States "has Israel's back."

Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, praised Haley for her commitment to defending Israel.

"Thank you Ambassador Haley for recognizing the dangers of BDS and for being the first U.S. governor to sign legislation against BDS," he said. "And thank you Ambassador Haley for the strong stance taken by the U.S. for condemning all forms of anti-Semitism."

Danon added that the "Ambassadors Against BDS" event had a simple message.

"We are here today with a simple message for those who seek to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people. We will keep fighting until we eliminate BDS completely, from the campuses to the U.N., and we will keep fighting until anti-Semitism is finally defeated," he said.