Nikki Haley writes ‘finish them’ on IDF artillery shells during Israel visit

<span>Nikki Haley and Danny Danon during a visit to Israel on 27 May. </span><span>Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters</span>
Nikki Haley and Danny Danon during a visit to Israel on 27 May. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

Nikki Haley, the failed Republican presidential nominee, signed Israeli artillery shells with the inscription “Finish Them!” on a Memorial Day visit to Israel.

The former South Carolina governor’s graphic display of support came on a trip to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, where she was accompanied by Danny Danon, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and a noted hawkish member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in the Knesset.

Her shell-signing activities came at a time when Israel is engaged in a devastating military offensive in Gaza that has so far killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, an estimated 15,000 of them children.

Talking to reporters, Haley was unapologetic, criticising Joe Biden’s administration for temporarily withholding weapons as a means of discouraging an Israeli attack on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and aiming barbs at the international criminal court (ICC) – which is seeking Netanyahu’s arrest – and the international court of justice (ICJ), which is considering charges of genocide against Israel.

“What America needs to understand is if Israel’s fighting our enemies, how can we not help them,” said Haley, whose missile message also carried the words “America loves Israel”.

“The sure way to not help Israel is to withhold weapons. The sure way to not help Israel is to praise the ICC, the ICJ or any of those that are condemning Israel instead of condemning what happens.

“America needs to do whatever Israel needs and stop telling them how to fight this war. You are either a friend or not a friend.”

Haley, like Danon a former ambassador to the UN, last week said she would vote for Trump in November’s presidential election, despite having previously denounced him as “dangerous” and unfit to serve.

Danon proudly recorded Haley’s show of support, which also included a trip to southern Israel to meet survivors of Hamas’s 7 October attack in which about 1,200 people were killed and another 253 were taken hostage, on his X account.

According to one Israeli peace activist, Alon-Lee Green, Haley also visited settlements in the West Bank, which are not recognised under international law.

“Dear Americans, Nikki Haley visited us today: she went to the West Bank settlements and then signed on a bomb ‘finish them’. Just disgusting,” Green posted. “Can you take her back please? We already have one [Itamar] Ben-Gvir [Israel’s national security minister] and don’t need your filthy death-promoting politicians as well. Thanks!”