Nikki Haley attracts criticism for writing on an Israeli artillery shell — ‘Finish Them!’ | EUROtoday

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Nikki Haley took a purple pen, crouched down in a tactical vest and signed an artillery shell whereas visiting Israel this week. “Finish Them!” she wrote.

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Republican presidential candidate penned the message Tuesday whereas touring an artillery station alongside Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. It was a part of a days-long journey to the nation throughout which she has met with households of a few of the roughly 1,200 individuals killed and 253 taken hostage when Hamas attacked on Oct. 7. Haley toured the wreckage brought on by the assault and visited the positioning of the Nova music competition in southern Israel the place partygoers had been killed and kidnapped.

Haley and representatives from her defunct presidential marketing campaign didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark from The Washington Post.

In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, which is run by Republican mega donor Miriam Adelson, Haley echoed her message on the bomb.

“We know as long as Hamas exits, it can happen again, and that’s why I’ve said from the very beginning, you need to finish them — once and for all,” she stated. Haley spoke with the newspaper Monday after visiting Nir Oz, the place greater than one-quarter of residents had been both killed or kidnapped on Oct. 7.

Haley’s go to comes as Israeli leaders face intensifying criticism that they’re not doing sufficient to guard civilians in Gaza and will have dedicated conflict crimes in the course of the nation’s conflict towards Hamas. It additionally follows a latest Israeli airstrike that began a fireplace in a camp for displaced Palestinians. Weapons consultants stated U.S.-made bombs had been used within the strike.

On Tuesday, Danny Danon, a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and the nation’s former consultant to the United Nations, posted pictures to X exhibiting him accompanying Haley to the artillery station. The pictures present Haley writing the “Finish Them!” message, adopted by: “America [heart] Israel. Always, Nikki Haley.”

Criticism shortly adopted.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International USA shared the pictures with a message about how battle zones are “no place for stunts.” And the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned her for writing “a violent message” two days after an Israeli airstrike on a tent camp in Rafah killed at the least 45 individuals. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as the assault a “tragic accident” after the Israeli navy repeatedly described it as a focused strike on a Hamas compound utilizing “precise munitions” and “precise intelligence.”

Haley has been a staunch supporter of Israel for years. In October, when she was nonetheless pursuing the Republican presidential nomination, she spoke on the Republican Jewish Coalition summit, the place she stated she would by no means criticize Israel’s prime minister “in the middle of tragedy and war.”

Last week, she chastised the Biden administration’s determination to withhold weapons from Israel, saying that doing so “validates the totally false and destructive narrative that Israel is acting unjustly by defending herself,” including that she thinks Israel “is conducting its war of self-defense more humanely than any army in history.”

During a 2017 go to to Israel as U.N. ambassador in the course of the Trump administration, Haley advised Netanyahu that the United Nations bullies Israel. Her remark got here a day after she stated that the United States may withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council until it modified its methods generally and its unfavorable stance on Israel specifically, The Post reported on the time.

And in 2018, Haley defended Israel throughout an emergency assembly of the U.N. Security Council as Israel confronted harsh criticism from world wide for capturing Palestinians who had been protesting on the Gaza border throughout clashes that killed at the least 60.

“I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council: Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border?” Haley stated on the time. “No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”

Haley continued her protection of Israel throughout her newest go to.

“When Hamas promises they will do it again, Israel should believe them,” she wrote Wednesday on X. “Israel must do whatever is necessary to protect her people from evil. Americans must remember that when Iran and Hamas chant ‘Death to Israel’ they also promise ‘Death to America’. Israel is fighting America’s enemies.”

Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff contributed to this report.