Monday, December 26, 2016

Is Haley the best there is for the UN?

Sar Shalom

Many people have commented that president-elect Trump's pick for UN Ambassador, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, is solidly pro-Israel. However, if her support for Israel amounts to nothing more than voting the right way on Israel every time, would that really amount to anything other than possibly at the Security Council? What's needed is an ability to persuade others of the rightness of Israel's case, and thus possibly move in the direction of assembling a coalition to vote down future resolutions against Israel. It is in this arena where Haley's lack of experience could hinder her effectiveness as an advocate for Israel. It is possible that she would do a phenomenal job as an advocate for Israel, we just have no track record one way or the other.

As an alternative, consider what Northwestern University Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich could do on behalf of Israel if he were to become UN Ambassador. While Kontorovich does not have diplomatic experience, he does know international law. In particular, Kontorovich knows the ins and outs of the provisions of international law that have been weaponized against Israel and the reality of how those provisions have been applied in every situation not involving Israel. Kontorovich can talk about the "legal" decisions that Israel's settlements of the disputed territories violate the Geneva Convention in contrast to the lack of any such legal decision regarding Turkey's settlement of Northern Cyprus, and back it up with discussion of every place where the principles the international community applies to Israel would apply if they were genuine principles. Even if other nations stand steady in their hypocrisy rather than accept Kontorivich's arguments, his being a senior public official would give him a bully pulpit from which he could push the facts relating to the application of the principles of international law when Israel is not involved into the wider media. Should we not push for such an advocate?


  1. Kontorovich is great. But doesn't live in Israel? He could consult and advise without actually being the ambassador. And the US's role at the UN has more facets to it than just advocating for Israel, although I'm sure he would be an asset there as well.
    Either way, the UN would be great place for Prof. Kontorovich's legal arguments to be heavily disseminated, especially to some of Israel's "friends" at the Security Council, such as the UK and France.

  2. What is the value of spending ergs on working with the UN in the first place? I mean as opposed to being the ambassador to Disneyworld?

  3. I'm with Jeff on this one.

    K. is an impressive guy who could make the case on settlements, but the Ambassador to the UN is... I would hope!... concerned with many things that have nothing to do with Israel.

    I was wondering what the cost-benefit analysis would be on an Israeli withdrawal from the UN.

    I don't think that anyone really knows, but it would certanly mean increased hostility... but just how much? What would be the real world consequences of that hostility?

    How does one put human lives on such a balance sheet?

    Nonetheless, I do think that this is a time for Israel to be tough as nails.

    Trudy, if I understood her correctly, suggested that Israel should stay in the organization, but conduct all relevant business elsewhere.

    In any case, let's not get carried away with the drama of this thing.

    We'll see where we are in a month.

  4. Maybe not the best, but the pick is done, so does it matter? Time will tell. Thought Huckabee would have been a good choice.

    1. A white Christian Evangelical male as the face of America to the world.

      What are you, some sort-of crazed radical??


  5. She's a damn sight better than Samantha Power, I suspect.