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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Prosor’

Israel Seeks UN Security Council Seat; Will Power Proffer Power?

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Late last week the Jewish State publicly announced that it plans to run for one of the ten rotating positions on the Security Council of the United Nations for the 2019-2020 year. Virtually everyone agrees it will be a tough battle for Israel to land a seat on the Security Council, but this year Israel has a special weapon it has not had in the past: US power. Or, more accurately, U. S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.

This past July, when Power appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her vetting in advance of being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N, Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) bluntly asked Power whether she would assist Israel if the Jewish State seeks to fill one of the ten rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council.

“Absolutely, sir,” Power responded. “The Security Council seat is one that has eluded Israel, despite its many contributions across the years, and I commit to you wholeheartedly to go on offense, as well as playing defense on the legitimation of Israel, and we’ll make every effort to secure greater integration of Israeli public servants in the U.N. system.”

Now for a little background information: in order to win one of those ten rotating seats, two-thirds of the 193 member states of the U.N. General Assembly must vote to support a country’s bid.  In the 64 plus years during which Israel has been a member state of the U.N., it has never been approved for a seat on the U.N.’s Security Council.

Israel never has, but every one of its’ neighbors has had a seat on the Security Council several times: Egypt, four times; Jordan, twice; Syria, three times and Lebanon, twice.  Even Iraq and Iran have been voted on to the Security Council. But not Israel.

The Security Council can make policy decisions which have binding authority.  It can impose sanctions or authorize the use of the military. In contrast, the General Assembly can only pass resolutions, which are non-binding statements.

The ten rotating spots for the Security Council are chosen from within the five regional groups into which the U.N. is divided: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin American and the Caribbean, and the Western Europe and Others group (WEOG).

Although geographically – which is exactly how the groups are organized – Israel would naturally fall within the Asia Pacific group.  But the Islamic countries refused to permit Israel to be a member of that group. Sounds impossible, or at least impermissible, but it is what happened. And it was permitted.

So for years Israel was a U.N. member nation without a regional group home.  This meant that it was unable to participate in certain U.N. activities, one of which was being considered for a position on the Security Council.  But in 2000 the semi-magnanimous members of the WEOG permitted Israel to become a partial member of their regional group.

And then, in 2004, Israel was made a permanent member of WEOG. With that decision, after 55 years as a U.N. vagabond nation, Israel had a home in a regional group and became eligible for a seat on the Security Council. Israel will be running against Germany and Belgium for two seats available to members of WEOG.

Israel’s U.N. ambassador Ron Prosor said that “We’re going all out to win” because “it’s about time.” But going “all out” may not be enough, given that 120 of the U.N.’s 193 member states belong to the “Non-Aligned Movement,” the vast majority of which are decidedly hostile to Israel.

All eyes should be on Power to see how she plays offense – and defense – on behalf of Israel. As promised.

Amb. Prosor: Many States Classify Hezbollah as ‘Charity’

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

On Tuesday, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor spoke during a Security Council open debate on the “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.”

Prosor referred to the finding last week, by Bulgarian authorities, that Hezbollah was the culprit behind the July bus bombing in Burgas, which killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen.

“This was the deadliest attack on European soil since 2005,” Prosor said. “Despite this, however, Hezbollah remains conspicuously absent from the European Union’s list of recognized terrorist organizations. In fact, many states—including some in this hall—continue to classify Hezbollah as a charity. Not since Napoleon invaded Russia has the European continent seen such an astonishing lack of foresight.”

Prosor cautioned that Hezbollah’s sole purpose is “to commit terrorist acts both inside and outside the Middle East,” commenting that “calling Hezbollah a charity is like calling al Qaida an urban-planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings.”

“One does not need the fortitude of Richard the Lionheart to do the right thing here,” Prosor concluded. “The EU must find the moral and political courage to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. It must send a clear message that Hezbollah can no longer target its citizens with impunity.”

Israeli UN Envoy Admonishes UN Security Council

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the UN Security Council last week that the “Council needs a GPS system to find its moral center in this debate on the Middle East.”

Prosor addressed the issue of settlements in his speech, saying that “there are many threats to the security in our region. But the presence of Jewish homes in Jerusalem – the eternal capital of the Jewish people, has never been one of them.”

He further clarified that the existence of a Palestinian state did not depend on E-1 construction connecting Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem, which are 7 kilometers apart. “Those who make this claim are the same people who stand up and speak about a contiguous state between Gaza and the West Bank, areas divided by more than 70 kilometers… which would cut Israel in two.”

Addressing the current Middle East situation and Israel’s latest elections, Prosor admonished the Security Council for its continued silence in the face of terror and oppression that reigns across the Middle East. “Most of the millions in our region who live under oppression, fear, and violence are completely ignored in this debate,” the ambassador stated during UN Security Council’s monthly open debate on the Middle East in New York last Wednesday.

Prosor stated that, instead, a “litany of half-truths, myths, and outright lies about Israel” are the focal points of Security Council sessions, adding that the monthly debate which the Security Council holds on the Middle East falls short of its original mission to advance global peace and security.

The ambassador emphasized that there were other challenges facing the Middle East, highlighting both the regime of Syrian President Bashaar Assad and the Aytollah regime in Iran. “More than 60,000 were killed in Syria in just the past two years,” Prosor stated. Among those killed, he said, were hundreds of Palestinians living in refugee camps bombed by Assad’s fighter jets. Prosor also noted that Assad’s chemical weapons could be taken over by Al Qaeda or Hezbollah. He mentioned the oppressive Hezbollah regime in Lebanon that had “transformed the country into an Iranian terror base,” and that Iran’s advanced missile technology with nuclear weapons and extremist ideology “leaves the lives of millions” hanging in balance.

Following Prosor’s speech, U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice took the opportunity to criticize Israel on settlement activity. “We have reiterated our longstanding opposition to Israel’s West Bank settlement activity, as well as construction in East Jerusalem, which run counter to the cause of peace,” declared Rice. She said that construction in E-1, connecting Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim, “would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”

Ambassador Rice, however also voiced Washington’s disapproval of the Palestinians’ use of ‘State of Palestine’ on their nameplate at the UN Security Council session. She stated that the United States did not recognize the UN General Assembly vote to upgrade the status of Palestine as a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012, saying that “…any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’…do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state.”

While the Middle East peace process and occasionally even Syria, dominated the Security Council session on Wednesday – they were described as the “two major crisis” facing the region by several ambassadors – Israel’s UN envoy offered another perspective on the debate.

“I have a novel idea. Perhaps this discussion could occasionally spend some time examining why the situation in the Middle East remains unstable, undemocratic and violent. I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with Israel,” stated Prosor.

Israel’s UN Envoy Leaves Session in Protest When A-Jad Takes Podium

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Israel’s UN envoy Ron Prosor left a UN session on Monday in protest when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the podium.  Ahmadinejad was present to speak about the rule of law in a session on the subject.

Prosor said inviting the Iranian leader to speak on the subject is like “appointing a pyromaniac as fire chief,” saying he is “a serial violator of the fundamental principles of the rule of law”.

“It is a shame and disgrace to give someone like him the opportunity to speak on such an important topic,” Prosor said.  “There is no justice and no judge.”

Ron Prosor to UN Security Council on Eve of Yom Hazikaron: ‘Proud of My Extraordinary Nation’

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

In a sharply-worded and wide-ranging speech before the UN Security Council on Monday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said that the time has come “to sweep out the cobwebs of old illusions – and plant the seeds for a truly ‘open’ debate on the Middle East.”

Speaking at the ‘Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East,’ Prosor began by taking the UN body to task for losing ” any sense of proportion. Thousands are being killed in Syria, hundreds in Yemen, dozens in Iraq — and yet, this debate again repeatedly is focusing on the legitimate actions of the government of the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Still, he wanted to use opportunity to “address just a few of the myths that have become a permanent hindrance” to the discussion. Myths that “[i]n the barren deserts of the Middle East…find fertile ground to grow wild. Facts often remain buried in the sand. The myths forged in our region travel abroad – and can surprisingly find their way into these halls.”

He started by addressing the myth of ‘linkage’: that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, than so will all the other conflicts in the region. “The truth is that conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, and many other parts of the Middle East have absolutely nothing to do with Israel.” Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he added, “won’t stop the persecution of minorities across the region, end the subjugation of women, or heal the sectarian divides. Obsessing over Israel has not stopped Assad’s tanks from flattening entire communities…has not stopped the Iranian regime’s centrifuges from spinning.”

He then moved on to the myth of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, quoting the Deputy Head of the Red Cross Office in the area to dispute it as an outright falsehood. “There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza today,” Prosor said. “Yet, as aid flows into the area, missiles fly out. This is the crisis in Gaza.” Yet, he said, “The Security Council has not condemned a single rocket attack from Gaza.

“History’s lessons are clear,” he warned ominously, “today’s silence is tomorrow’s tragedy.”

Prosor then addressed the myth that has purportedly kept the Palestinians from the negotiating table – that settlements are the main obstacle to peace. He refuted this by citing Gaza, where all Israeli settlements had been uprooted, but which has become an anti-Israel terrorist mini-state. He then went on the attack, saying that the real obstacle to peace was the Palestinian ‘claim of return’, which is tantamount to denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. “You will never hear Palestinian leaders say ‘two states for two peoples’…the Palestinian leadership has never, ever said publicly that they will give up the so-called ‘claim of return’ – neither to the Palestinian people, nor to the Arab World, nor to the international community, or to anyone else.”

As to the myth being perpetuated in the Islamic Middle East that Israel is “judaizing Jerusalem”, he said that “[t]hese accusations come about 3,000 years too late. It’s like accusing the NBA of Americanizing basketball.”

True to Deputy Foreign Minister’s Danny Ayalon’s new stated policy, Prosor devoted some time to the issue of Jewish refugees:

“In all of the pages that the UN has written about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, in all of its reports and fact-finding commissions, and in all of the hours dedicated to debate about the Middle East, there is one great untold story. Or – to be more specific – there are more than 850,000 untold stories….

The pages that the UN has written about the Palestinian refugees could fill up soccer stadiums, but not a drop of ink has been spilled about the Jewish refugees. Out of over 1088 UN resolutions on the Middle East, you will not find a single syllable regarding the displacement of Jewish refugees. There have been more than 172 resolutions exclusively devoted to Palestinian refugees, but not one dedicated to Jewish refugees. The Palestinian refugees have their own UN agency, their own information program, and their own department within the United Nations. None exist for the Jewish refugees. The word ‘double-standard’ does not even begin to describe this gap….The time has come for the UN to end its complicity in trying to erase the stories of 850,000 people from history.”

He dismissed out of hand the final myth – “that peace can somehow be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians by bypassing direct negotiations,” saying that “History has shown that peace and negotiations are inseparable.”

Calling attention to the upcoming Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haatzma’ut holidays in Israel, he said, “We intentionally commemorate these two days one after another. As the Israeli people celebrate our independence, we carry the heavy weight of great suffering and sacrifice.”

UN Security Council Invites Humanitarian Chief to Speak on Israel

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

In the midst of a nuclear showdown with Iran and continued government violence in Syria, the UN Security Council invited UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos Wednesday to discuss the annual report on humanitarian conditions in Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

“Israeli authorities continued to impose a blockade on Gaza, amounting to collective punishment of the population and affecting every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip,” the report stated.

“If Gaza is going to come off its dependence on humanitarian aid, we need to see economic development and economic activity in Gaza,” Amos added in remarks to reporters after the private session.

“Israeli children have 15 seconds to reach shelters in Israel. We need to gather them in order to find shelters. Schools are out in Israel, a million kids can’t go out to school. This is humanitarian crisis. Do you hear a syllable about that?” Ambassador Ron Prosor retorted. “I’m not holding my breath to hear the first time the Security Council says anything about rockets flying into Israel in the 1967 lines and internationally recognized borders. So, my bottom line is that there is no, I repeat, no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-security-council-invites-humanitarian-chief-to-speak-on-israel/2012/01/19/

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