Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Is the world currently a safe place for Israel?

The Palestinian Authority submitted last week to the UN Security Council a draft proposal that, had it passed, would have been greatly hazardous to Israel’s health. It called for a 12-month deadline for completing final-status negotiations, and setting the end of 2017 as the deadline by which Israel must withdraw from Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.


It nearly passed – which would have resulted in a U.S. veto, something that may have cost Israel dearly later. Eight countries voted against Israel and in favor of the proposal: France and Luxembourg of the EU; Argentina and Chile of South America; Chad, Russia, China, and of course Jordan. This was one short of the special nine-member majority needed for passage. The U.S. and Australia voted against it, while Rwanda, Nigeria, South Korea, Britain and Lithuania abstained.

Israel summoned the French ambassador over his country’s vote and expressed its “deep disappointment” at France’s position. On the other hand, Prime Minister Netanyahu officially thanked the leaders of Rwanda and Nigeria for their votes. Nigeria’s abstention was particularly welcome, as the country had been expected to vote in favor.

Lithuania’s abstention was likely taken with a grain of salt by official Israel. Israelis are having trouble forgetting that Lithuanians brutally murdered tens of thousands of their Jewish neighbors during World War II – many of them even before the Nazis arrived. Israel recognized Lithuania’s independence in 1991, yet the new country did nothing to prosecute its war criminals who took part in the mass slaughters. Then, just to rub it in a few years ago, Lithuania sought the extradition from Israel of a former IDF general on suspicion of killing citizens during World War II. In general, Lithuania sought to create an equivalence of the crimes it perpetrated and those it suffered. It would be interesting to analyze the political calculations that had Lithuania abstain in this latest UN vote.

From the American side, the Obama Administration kept Israel hanging by not making it clear until the very end that it would definitely veto the resolution. Though the U.S. is Israel’s traditional best friend, Israel appears to be the perpetual underdog in the relationship, constantly worrying that its partner is looking at other potential partners. This is of substantial concern, especially with the international arena becoming more pro-Arab and given to Islamic blackmail.

The European Union, for its part, welcomes a gradual fading out of the United States and an increased role for the UN and its built-in anti-Israel stance – of which the EU is actually a major part. European anti-Semitism is on the rise, this time disguised as a Muslim, anti-Israel phenomenon, but no less potentially deadly than the other forms of anti-Semitism Europe has known over the centuries.

A number of European parliaments have adopted non-binding resolutions calling on their respective governments to recognize a Palestinian state. This is in direct contravention of international law, as manifest in the UN’s acceptance of the “Mandate for Palestine” west of the Jordan River.

From the United Nations in general Israel has much to fear. Let’s begin with the fact that during 2014, the General Assembly adopted four resolutions of condemnation – one each for Syria, North Korea, Ukraine, and Iran – and another 20 just against Israel alone. China, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and Venezuela were condemned not even once. Sort of gives a whole new meaning to the name “United” Nations – united against Israel.

In addition, the past year saw the UN assign Syria a top post on its human rights committee, praise Qatar’s human rights record, and name Sudan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Venezuela members of the powerful 19-nation UN Committee on NGOs. And at an emergency session on July 23, the UN Human Rights Council declared Israel guilty of “gross violations of international human rights” during its defensive war with Hamas, even as it created a commission of inquiry to purportedly investigate the facts.


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Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel is the former senior editor of Arutz-7. For bus tours of the capital, to take part in Jerusalem advocacy efforts or to keep abreast of KeepJerusalem's activities, e-mail [email protected].