Nikki Haley sparks outrage with ‘finish them’ message on Israeli bomb

Nikki Haley sparks outrage with ‘finish them’ message on Israeli bomb

Former US presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has sparked outrage by writing “Finish Them” on an artillery shell during a Memorial Day visit to the Israeli military near the border with Lebanon.

Photos of the former South Carolina governor writing on the bomb were shared by Israeli parliamentarian and former envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, who accompanied the American politician.

Ms Haley’s message also carried the words “America loves Israel”.

The politician’s graphic show of support for Israel came at a time of international outcry over its offensive in southern Rafah city, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing Israeli bombardment of Gaza have taken shelter.

An Israeli airstrike on Sunday killed at least 45 people, mostly women and childrensheltering in a tent camp in the city.

Israel’s war in Gaza has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, nearly half of them children, reduced much of the territory to rubble and left more than 80 per cent of its 2.2 million people homeless and starving.

The Israeli invasion followed an attack by Hamas on southern Israel that killed around 1,200 soldiers and civilians.

Ms Haley was unapologetic when she spoke to reporters after her stunt and criticised US president Joe Biden for temporarily withholding weapons from Israel to discourage an attack on Rafah.

She also lashed out at the International Criminal Court, which is seeking arrest of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant, and the International Court of Justice, 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?” Ms Haley said. “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.”

Nikki Haley during her visit to Israel (Getty)
Nikki Haley during her visit to Israel (Getty)

Ms Haley’s stunt and subsequent comments sparked angry reactions on social media.

“Republican Nikki Haley signing bombs that kill Palestinian babies. This is what our American politicians think is normal. Zionism is the greatest evil on our planet. If you stand with Israel you are a terrorist,” said a user on Twitter/X.

“While Americans watch Israel burn Gaza alive and Palestinian children are beheaded, Nikki Haley writes love notes on bombs that drop on civilians. Let the world bear witness to your moral depravity,” Dr Omar Suleiman, a civil rights activist, said.

Ms Haley, who abandoned her bid for the Republican presidential nomination in March, last week praised Donald Trump and said she would vote for the presidential hopeful despite previously calling him “dangerous”.

From Israel, Ms Haley visited settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, Israeli peace activist Alon-Lee Green said. The settlements 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,” Mr Green posted.

“Can you take her back please? We already have one Ben-Gvir and don’t need your filthy death-promoting politicians as well. Thanks!” he added, referring to Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.