Magen David Adom Presents Nikki Haley With the Iron Dome Award
Nikki Haley, a staunch supporter of Israel during her tenure as the 29th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, was recently honored by Magen David Adom as Humanitarian of the Year. MDA’s Western President Dina Leeds presented Haley with the MDA Iron Dome award at an event held April 1st at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in front of an audience of enthusiastic Israel supporters. The crowd included students from YULA, Shalhevet, Valley Torah Academy, Beverly Hills High School, Maimonides, USC, and Touro College.
Fred Leeds told the students and others assembled that especially in light of the most recent rocket attack—which penetrated 75 miles into Central Israel—“There should be no one who cares about Israel standing on the sidelines today.” This message was echoed by Israeli Consul General, Eitan Weiss, who spoke about the greatness of MDA, Israel’s national medical disaster, ambulance and blood bank service; the new blood center being built by MDA; and also Nikki Haley’s admirable tenacity during a fact-finding mission to the Golan.
Pastor Jeffrey Osborne said he was inspired to support Israel after a trip there that included Rabbi Pini Dunner. Second-generation Holocaust survivor and board member Andrew Freedman called Nikki Haley “the future of America.” Also speaking to the crowd was Lawrence Middleton, Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of California. Middleton informed the audience of a very disturbing statistic: Out of 1679 hate crimes that occurred in 2017, 58.1% were anti-Jewish. He said that the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the current administration is 100% committed to take every step necessary to protect every person’s civil liberties.
Lies lead to hatred, and Dina Leeds quoted the Talmud and the Zohar that assert, Sheker ain lo raglayim. (“Falsehood has no base to stand on.”) Michael Milken then introduced Nikki Haley, a hero who has helped to eliminate the falsehood about Israel, to thunderous applause.
Nikki Haley began by telling the students that each one of them was meant for great things, advising them not to be too busy, and to be very giving. Also, she told them not to be fearful of telling the truth because those who tell the truth will emerge much stronger on the other side. The ability to have this clarity and courage, Former Ambassador Haley explained, was routed in her family values.
Dina Leeds asked Former Ambassador Haley what helped shape her. She replied she was most influenced by being a first-generation American and watching the sacrifices her parents made on behalf of herself and her siblings. Their parents told them every day after immigrating from India to South Carolina how blessed they were to be in the United States. Nikki Haley was also taught not to complain, but to find solutions. Dina replied that it is a Torah precept to infuse light into the darkness and that Nikki Haley has done that.
In addition to caring for octogenarian father and mother (respectively a biology professor and a successful businesswoman), enjoying her children and combat veteran husband, since leaving office, Haley has been writing a book. She has also launched a policy website for her supporters to read about her views on current issues, http://www.standforamericanow.com. She told the crowd that she remains “loud and proud.”
Although not someone who was initially savvy about politics (Haley joked she didn’t realize you are not supposed to run for governor opposite a 30-year incumbent), she won by campaigning door to door and never spoke badly of an opponent. She succeeded in becoming a female executive, one of South Carolina’s first female legislators, the first female Governor of South Carolina, and the only female Ambassador on the Security Council for the President.
Among her achievements as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations was her advising the President to pull out of the Iran deal. She told President Trump to wait until she explained the necessity of this to the American people but credited him for being the one having the courage to get out. Besides the nuclear threat Iran posed, thanks to the previous administration literally handing billions of dollars to the Iranians, there was growing concern over Iran having resources to influence Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon. Currently, Nikki Haley said Iran is still a threat, but not the threat they were a year ago. In order to contain terror, she believes Iran should be further isolated.
Another achievement was calling for accountability on the part of the nations in the U.N. who oppose the United States. Haley gave President Trump a list of foreign aid and whether or not these countries stand with the United States and stated that should be one factor in determining what they receive. Following the resolution to condemn the U.S. for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump reviewed the list of who voted to condemn the U.S. One example the President saw was Pakistan. They harbored terrorists that tried to kill U.S. soldiers, and received a billion dollars. President Trump pulled the aid.
Nikki Haley said supporting Israel was one of the easiest things she’s done, because when you tell the truth, you might not be liked, but you will be respected. She added that she never asked for any favors for Israel but stated firmly that there would be no double standard.
Dina Leeds said that the usual practice at her Shabbat table is to ask each person what they are doing for tikkum olam (making the world a better place). She asked Nikki Haley for her current thoughts on the subject. Nikki Haley said there is a toxic political climate in the United States and that both parties are at fault. It has come to the point that parties are calling each other “evil.” She said that she has seen true evil in the world, such as the Syrian government using chemical weapons against innocent people, stories of the military of the Republic of Congo taking children out of mother’s hands and throwing them into fire. A difference of opinion, Haley said, should not be called “evil.”