August 19, 2019

Nikki Haley Accepts Humanitarian Award in Beverly Hills

From left: Dina Leeds and Nikki Haley. Photo by Anthony RG

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accepted the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Friends of Magen David Adom – Western USA (FMDA-WUSA) on April 1 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

After accepting her award, Haley sat down for an interview with FMDA-WUSA President Dina Leeds. They discussed Haley’s upbringing by Sikh immigrant parents, with Haley saying her parents urged her to carve a path for herself and never complain. Haley also spoke about her experience serving under President Donald Trump, Israel and women leaders.

“In every aspect in my career there’s never been a line to the women’s bathroom…but I never thought of any of that because I didn’t want to be defined by labels,” Haley said.

On Trump’s foreign policy, Haley praised his decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear agreement, saying the past year has shown that concerns that withdrawal from the agreement would have consequences were unfounded.

She also reiterated the current administration’s commitment to its continued support of Israel.

“When you look at the Middle East, Israel is the only bright spot we have,” she said.

Prior to serving in the U.N. from 2017-2018, Haley served as the governor of South Carolina and as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. She said her experience in politics has taught her that the truth commands respect. “Truth is power,” she said. “I stood by what I believed and I stood by the truth.”

Asked how she incorporates tikkun olam into her work, Haley discussed the increasing polarization in the country, saying she has traveled around the world and heard firsthand about unspeakable atrocities against women and children.

That’s evil,” she said. “Our political system—it’s just different opinions.”

Other speakers at the event included philanthropist Michael Milken; Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Eitan Weiss; Pastor Jeff Osborne; and Lawrence Middleton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Students from Yeshiva University of Los Angeles High School, Shalhevet High School, Valley Torah High School, Maimonides Academy and Beverly Hills High School also attended the event.

Following the event, attendee and attorney Sasha Farahi told the Journal Haley was a role model. “I wanted to come out and hear her speak because every time I hear her speak, I feel more empowered to overcome my fears, to stand up for the truth and to fight for what I believe in,” Farahi said.

She was not the only adoring fan in the crowd. During Haley’s remarks, people yelled out, “Nikki for president!” and “Nikki 2020!”

“No, that’s not going to happen,” Haley said. She did not rule out, however, that she would stop by the U.N. to support Israel.

“I told Danny Danon,” she said, referring to Israel’s representative in the U.N., “don’t be surprised if I show up one day and defend him.”

This article was updated on April 3.