Outrage as Nikki Haley signs ‘finish them’ on Israeli bomb amid Gaza conflict

Humanitarians and activists condemn former U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley for writing a controversial message on an Israeli artillery shell during her visit to an IDF post.

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Image Credit; Danny Danon/France Médias Monde Graphic studio

Humanitarians and activists are condemning former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley after she wrote “Finish them! America [loves] Israel always” on an Israeli artillery shell during her visit to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) post on Tuesday. The incident comes amid heightened tensions and violence in Gaza, where recent Israeli strikes have killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

Haley, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President Donald Trump and is a former presidential candidate, has long been an ardent supporter of Israel. Her recent visit to an IDF post included writing and signing the controversial message on an artillery shell. Knesset member Danny Danon accompanied her and posted photos of the event on social media. Haley’s ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobby group, further underscore her strong pro-Israel stance.

The reaction to Haley’s actions was swift and severe. IfNotNow, a U.S. Jewish group that supports Palestinian rights, criticized Haley, saying, “Nothing to see here, just AIPAC’s favorite politician, Nikki Haley, celebrating death and destruction in Gaza with an autographed missile.”

Alon-Lee Green, director of the Jewish-Arab Movement for Peace, Equality & Social Justice in Israel, expressed his outrage on social media: “Just disgusting. Americans, please take back your filthy death-promoting politicians.”

Alec Karakatsanis, an American civil rights lawyer, called Haley’s message “one of the most depraved things I have ever seen.”

The timing of Haley’s autograph has heightened the outrage. On Sunday night, Israel bombed tents of displaced Palestinians in a “safe zone” of Rafah, killing at least 45 civilians, mostly women and children. Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing the strike as a “tragic mistake,” the Israeli military conducted another attack on Tuesday, killing at least 21 more Palestinian civilians in a similar attack on a refugee camp in southern Gaza.

Haley’s actions and statements during her visit, including her comment that “America stands by Israel” and “Israel is fighting the enemies of the U.S. today. Don’t stop until you win,” have been perceived as not just support for Israel but an endorsement of the ongoing violence.

Hafiz Rashid of The New Republic criticized Haley for spending Memorial Day not commemorating fallen American service members but visiting Israel as it conducts a brutal massacre in Gaza. Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek minister of finance and a pro-Palestine public intellectual, highlighted the bipartisan support for Israel’s actions, stating, “Biden provided the shells, Republicans autograph them. The U.S. political class is united in its complicity with this genocide.”

These comments reflect a broader sentiment that the most powerful members of both major U.S. political parties, including President Joe Biden, continue to support Israel’s war efforts despite widespread international condemnation.

During her visit, Haley made unfounded claims about Russian, Chinese, and Iranian connections to the October 7 attack led by Hamas. She also voiced full support for the war effort, using rhetoric that wrongly implies she speaks for all Americans. “America stands by Israel,” Haley declared during her tour with Danon, according to i24 News. “Israel is fighting the enemies of the U.S. today. Don’t stop until you win.”

Haley’s actions and statements have significant implications for U.S.-Israel relations. Her endorsement of Israel’s military actions aligns with the pro-Israel stance of powerful lobby groups like AIPAC and reinforces the bipartisan support for Israel in U.S. politics. This support continues despite international calls for a halt to the violence and for holding Israel accountable for potential war crimes.

The United Nations General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Justice have condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza. The ICJ recently ordered Israel to “immediately halt its military offensive” in Rafah, which Israel has not adhered to. Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh called the latest attack a massacre and urged the international community to implement the ICJ’s decision.

“Safe zones targeted, refugees killed with merciless brutality,” said London-based researcher Naks Bilal,

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Alexis Sterling is a seasoned War and Human Rights Reporter with a passion for reporting the truth in some of the world's most tumultuous regions. With a background in journalism and a keen interest in international affairs, Alexis's reporting is grounded in a commitment to human rights and a deep understanding of the complexities of global conflicts. Her work seeks to give voice to the voiceless and bring to light the human stories behind the headlines. Alexis is dedicated to responsible and engaged journalism, constantly striving to inform and educate the public on critical issues of war and human rights across the globe.

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