Nikki Haley Writes ‘Finish Them’ on Artillery Shell in Israel

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Nikki Haley, the former Republican presidential candidate and U.N. ambassador during the Trump administration, wrote “Finish them” on an artillery shell in Israel this week.

Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations and a member of the Israeli Parliament, shared a photo on social media on Tuesday showing Ms. Haley signing the shell. Her visit came just days after Israel drew international condemnation for a strike that killed dozens of Gazan civilians in a camp for displaced Palestinians.

“This is what my friend, the former ambassador Nikki Haley, wrote today on a shell during a visit to an artillery post on the northern border,” Mr. Danon wrote, declaring of the Israeli military, “The I.D.F. will win!”

Ms. Haley — who also met with Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, and Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet — finished her inscription with a note that “America loves Israel always,” using a heart emoji for “loves.”

She signed the artillery shell not along the Gaza frontier, in the south, but near Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, with which Israel also has a longstanding conflict. She also visited a kibbutz where Israelis were killed on Oct. 7, and her public remarks about the trip focused on Gaza.

Her message drew denunciations from some commentators, including the author and columnist Wajahat Ali, who said in a video on TikTok: “If you think that Biden and Democrats are terrible on Gaza — I think they’ve been terrible — just know Republicans will be far, far worse, and I give you Nikki Haley.”

In an interview published Tuesday by the Israel Hayom newspaper, which is owned by the Republican donor Miriam Adelson, Ms. Haley said Israel had done nothing wrong in its invasion and bombardment of Gaza since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people. And she said the United States should continue to support it unconditionally.

“Israel, they’re the good guys,” she said. “And you know what I want Israelis to know? You’re doing the right thing. Don’t let anybody make you feel wrong.”

Israel’s military operations have killed more than 36,000 Gazans, including thousands of women and children, according to the Gazan health ministry. Many of the casualties, including those in the tent camp on Sunday, have been caused by bombs provided by the United States. President Biden recently withheld an arms shipment out of concern that it would be used in an offensive on the city of Rafah, where displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

When asked in the Israel Hayom interview about civilians who crossed into Israel during the Oct. 7 attacks, she said: “The rest of the world can’t say, ‘Oh, be nice to the Palestinians,’ when these are some of the people who murdered their brothers and sisters.” She added: “They don’t know who to trust. That’s not Israel’s fault. That’s the Palestinians’ fault now.”

Ms. Haley’s comments are in line with her history of support for Israel and rejection of international criticism of its actions. As U.N. ambassador, she accused the United Nations of “bullying” Israel and led the U.S. withdrawal of funding for an agency that helps Palestinian refugees.

She recently fell back in line behind Mr. Trump after previously refusing to endorse him, and Mr. Trump suggested he might bring her onto his team “in some form.”