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August 1, 2019 4:12 pm

Jewish Groups Encourage New US Ambassador to UN Kelly Craft to ‘Continue the Efforts’ of Predecessor Nikki Haley to Fight Anti-Israel Bias

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Kelly Craft, the new US ambassador to the UN, speaking at her nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque.

Jewish organizations on Thursday welcomed the confirmation of diplomat Kelly Craft as the new US ambassador to the United Nations.

The appointment of Craft, who previously served as the American ambassador to Canada, was finalized on Wednesday by a Senate vote of 56-34 in favor. Craft’s predecessor, Nikki Haley, announced in October 2018 that she was stepping down as UN envoy and the post has remained vacant for most of the interim.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said on Thursday that it was “confident” that Craft would “represent America’s interests with distinction at the UN.”

In their statement of congratulation to Craft, Arthur Stark, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents emphasized that they “look forward to her continuing the efforts of Ambassador Nikki Haley to call out and confront the blatant and discriminatory anti-Israel bias in that international body.”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder also praised Craft’s appointment.

“We trust that Ambassador Craft will fulfill her pledge to fight the double standards and unconscionable biases that pervade against Israel throughout the bodies of the United Nations,” Lauder said. “The State of Israel, and the Jewish people, rely on the continued support and friendship of the United States in these perilous times of rising antisemitism and anti-Zionist sentiments.”

Craft’s confirmation came despite opposition to her appointment from senior congressional Democrats, including some with stalwart pro-Israel records.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) had implored senators on Tuesday night to oppose Craft, arguing that she lacked the proper qualifications for the UN role. Menendez also raised concerns that Craft had been traveling outside Canada for half of her term as US ambassador in Ottawa, with Craft responding that much of her absence was explained by her participation in trade negotiations in Washington, DC.

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