Tag Archives: Security Council

Israel Belongs on the UN Security Council

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The Trump administration has stated that it intends to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While this is important, there is a far more urgent goal because time is running short: helping Israel get a seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC), for which Israel has formally applied, when vacancies open up in 2019. There won’t be another opportunity until 2029.

Some background information is in order before considering strategies. The relevant facts are disturbing, to say the least, and deserve to be better known.

From 1946 to 1965, the UNSC had eleven members. Five were permanent: the US, the UK, France, the Republic of China (later PRC), and the USSR (later Russia). The six non-permanent members were drawn from five regional groups: two from Latin America and one each from Commonwealth of Nations, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Western Europe. To qualify for a nonpermanent seat on the UNSC, a UN member had to satisfy three conditions, which still apply today: (1) membership in a regional group; (2) group concurrence; and (3) concurrence by a majority of the entire UN membership.

Though a UN member after 1948 when it was created, Israel never even qualified for a seat on the UNSC because it did not belong to any of the five regional groups and thus failed to meet the first condition. The countries belonging to the Middle East group, which were dedicated to the destruction of Israel, conspired successfully to keep the Jewish state out of the group and in bureaucratic limbo. Why they were able to get away with it is not a mystery. The UN was perfectly content to treat Israel as a pariah state hoping it would disappear, an attitude that persists to this day.

After 1966, UNSC membership expanded to 15. The five permanent members kept their seats while the five regional groups were redefined and got two non-member seats each: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin-America and Caribbean, Western Europe and Others (WEOG), and Eastern Europe.

If it’s not apparent where Israel belonged under this reconfiguration, the answer is nowhere. The usual suspects, now in the Asia-Pacific group, were successful in continuing to keep Israel in bureaucratic limbo despite the new iteration of UN-style gerrymandering skullduggery. Once again, the rest of the UN didn’t care.

Incredibly, there the matter rested until the year 2000, when Israel became a temporary member of the WEOG in May of that year. In 2004, Israel obtained a permanent renewal of its membership in the group’s US headquarters but was granted only observer status at UN offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Rome, and Vienna — more UN skullduggery. Finally, in December, 2013, Israel became a full permanent member of WEOG. Thus, it took 65 years for the Jewish state to have the same rights as every other UN member! How many people knew that, I wonder? I hereby challenge Bill O’Reilly to run a “Watters’ World” segment on the question.

There are 28 countries in the WEOG: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Australia, Canada, Israel, and New Zealand. The US holds only observer status in the group.

Except Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland (which is neutral), all 28 WEOG countries have been on the UNSC, even Malta and Luxembourg. It’s worth adding that several WEOG members have been on the UNSC three or more times: Italy (six times), Spain (five), Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Two WEOG vacancies on the UNSC will open up in 2019. Initially, only Israel and Belgium applied. In a surprise move, Germany announced in 2013 it would compete. Group members would gladly push Israel aside in favor of Germany and Belgium.

Observers have rightly criticized Bonn for trying to spoil Israel’s chances and have urged the Germans to withdraw. But there is another alternative.

At the moment, the WEOG has three non-permanent members on the UNSC instead of two: Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands. This unusual situation occurred because Italy and the Netherlands tied in a contested race for a UNSC seat and were allowed to split a two-year term. Germany or Belgium could perhaps be persuaded to use this as precedent and make room for Israel. Germany has been a supporter of Israel at the UN and might go along. NATO is in Belgium, so President Trump would have clout if he decided the issue had high enough priority.

It’s by no means a sure thing that the State Department would go along or move quickly enough once President Trump made his wishes clear. The pro-Arab faction at Foggy Bottom is powerful, well-entrenched, and would resist a change of direction on a policy they managed to keep in place for decades. The new sheriff just sworn in, Rex Tillerson, will only be effective after some serious housecleaning.

The real fight will be on the floor of the General Assembly, where a majority of the UN’s 193 members will have to approve Israel’s assignment to the UNSC even if for only one year. The many countries that conspired over the decades to keep Israel in limbo or tried to destroy it are still around singing the same tune. Muslim populations all over Europe are expected to exert pressure on UN ambassadors, as will the mainstream media. And then there’s the fact that, aided and abetted by the outgoing Obama administration, the UNSC last December voted unanimously to condemn Israel’s settlement policy.

Some will ask why the US should get involved. These are the folks who think the Middle East is a quagmire and we should stay away because nothing good will come of it. They would add that the US secretaries of state during 1948-2000 — from George Marshall to Dean Rusk to Henry Kissinger to Alexander Haig to James Baker to Warren Christopher — were right to ignore the appalling treatment of Israel at the UN.

So, Mr. President, which side will you be on? What about House Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, House Minority Leader Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Schumer? This is an issue on which our most senior officials can speak with one voice.

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Saudi Arabia 1, Russia 0 #KSA

Farid Ghadry

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia, a country that won a seat on the Security Council, rejected that seat as a form of protest over the UN handling of Syria. The Saudi foreign ministry issued this statement:

“”Below is the full text of today’s Saudi statement. Click here for UN Watch’s reaction, declaring the Saudi pull-out a “victory for human rights.”

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Foreign Ministry Makes Statement on Saudi Arabia’s Apology for Not Accepting Security Council Membership

Riyadh, Dhu-AlHijjah 13, 1434, Oct 18, 2013, SPA – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement after the election of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a non- permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for two years. Following is the text of the statement:

First of all, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is pleased to extend its sincere thanks and deep gratitude to all countries that have given their confidence to elect it as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the next two years. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a founding member of the United Nations, is proud of its full and permanent commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, believing that commitment of all Member States, honestly, truthfully and accurately, as agreed upon and stipulated in the Charter is the real guarantee for world security and peace.

If the Member States of the United Nations consider wining the membership of UN Security Council, which is, according to the Charter of the Organization, the sole agency responsible for preserving world peace and security, as a high honor and a great responsibility for participating directly and effectively in the service of international issues, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the manner, the mechanisms of action and double standards existing in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties and assuming its responsibilities towards preserving international peace and security as required, leading to the continued disruption of peace and security, the expansion of the injustices against the peoples, the violation of rights and the spread of conflicts and wars around the world.

In this regard, it is unfortunate that all international efforts that have been exerted in recent years, and in which Saudi Arabia participated very effectively, did not result in reaching reforms required to be made to enable the Security Council to regain its desired role in the serve of the issues of peace and security in the world.

With the current continuation of the Palestinian cause without a just and lasting solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars threatened international peace and security is irrefutable evidence and proof of the Security Council’s inability to carry out its duties and assume its responsibilities.

The failure of the Security Council to make the Middle East a free zone of all weapons of mass destruction, whether because of its inability to subdue the nuclear programs of all countries in the region, without exception, to the international control and inspection or to prevent any country in the region from possessing nuclear weapons, is another irrefutable evidence and proof of its inability to carry out its duties and hold its responsibilities.

Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people by the chemical weapons, while the world stands idly, without applying deterrent sanctions against Damascus regime, is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities.

Accordingly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, based on its historical responsibilities towards its people, Arab and Islamic nations as well as towards the peoples aspiring for peace and stability all over the world, announces its apology for not accepting membership of the Security Council until the Council is reformed and enabled, effectively and practically, to carry out its duties and responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security.

–SPA
13:12 LOCAL TIME
10:12 GMT

(Sources: Full Text from “Before It’s News”; Saudi website now showing elements thereof: Part 1Part 2.)””

The decision stunned the UN. This is the first time in its history a country rejects a seat on its Security Council.

Protecting the Assad terror has its limits and the divide this man has caused between Sunnis and Shias has now spilled over amongst nations in New York itself.

The French UN Ambassador Gérard Araud offered some important words to highlight the deep frustrations many countries feel towards Russia for the impasse it caused on Syria:

“We think that Saudi Arabia would have brought a very positive contribution to the Security Council, but we do also understand the frustration of Saudi Arabia. The fact is that the Security Council has been unable to act now for more than two years,” 

For their part, the Russians reacted with a strong statement of their own slamming the Saudis.

“We are surprised by Saudi Arabia’s unprecedented decision. In this way, Saudi Arabia has excluded itself from collective work within the Security Council to support international peace and security. The kingdom’s arguments arouse bewilderment, and the criticism of the UN Security Council in the context of the Syrian conflict is particularly strange.”

The Russian foreign ministry failed to explain the words “collective work” in light of its repeated veto power to protect the Assad regime of terror.

What Saudi Arabia has done may seem counterproductive to many, but this unprecedented step has opened the door wide open to fissures in the UN dam that may cause the organization to collapse. The UN’s inability to solve the most difficult of problems facing humanity when it comes to protecting the innocent is embarrassing really. If the UN was a business, it would have long been bankrupt.

Furthermore, Russia, inadvertently, may have caused the only international body it has any power over to weaken as a result of Putin’s mishandling of Syria and the Assad terror that remain unabated. Their angry statement against Saudi Arabia shows their concerns.

Some countries, like Saudi Arabia, are stirred by the fact that Assad has gassed his own people and continues to terrorize and starve children and women. Honestly, I applaud their courage and their stand on these principles. Women may not be able to drive in Saudi Arabia, but at least they do not have snipers, like Iran and Assad do, who target the uteri of pregnant women with their high powered rifles.

Saudi Arabia is realizing that being an ally of the United States has a far steeper price than it is willing to pay. This move may shake heads, but I believe it will also have deep repercussions as a tool of protest other countries may use to pressure the Permanent Members to find a solution to a system long on speeches and short on action when humanity demands it the most.

Israel deserves to join the United Nations Security Council

Germany should defer to Jewish state for 2019-2020 term

Israel should take a seat at the Security Council table.

JUSTIN LANE/EPA

Israel should take a seat at the Security Council table.

No country has been subject to more United Nations Security Council meetings and resolutions than Israel, and no country has a higher claim to a coveted two-year term on the world panel.

But the UN has denied Israel its rightful voice on this elevated global platform. Flush with hostility to the Jewish state, member nations long held to voting procedures that ruled out Israel’s election to the council.

After those were changed more than a dozen years ago under U.S. pressure, Israel gained a shot at winning a term on the panel — provided it could get the backing of a group of Western nations and the endorsement of more than half of the UN’s 193 members.

Difficult as the second step would be, the first should be a no-brainer. So it seemed after Belgium and Israel announced their candidacies for two spots that open in 2019. But now, of all countries, Germany has announced that it will vie for one of the places, severely undermining Israel’s chance for appointment. Chancellor Angela Merkel should come to her senses.

Her government has cast the move as simply a routine effort to seek every advantage for Germany in the halls of diplomacy.

Crediting good faith and ruling out any reflection of the anti-Israel bias that’s abroad in much of Europe, Merkel is still wrong.

Israel’s enemies are working feverishly to undermine the Jewish state’s legitimacy by casting it as immorally oppressing the Palestinians — essentially, by its very existence.

This is the moment when Western nations should go out of their way to affirm the standing of the Mideast’s only democracy, most of all Germany — whose history will go unspoken.

The 15-member council saves five veto-wielding permanent seats for the main victors of World War II: the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France. Ten additional seats rotate and are divided among the UN’s regional blocs. Two seats are reserved for the Western group, which includes Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and, since 2000, Israel.

In 2005, Israel began pushing for one of the two spots that will open in 2019, seven decades after the United Nations welcomed it as a member. For comparison purposes, thanks to the war, Germany only won admittance in 1973. Since then, it has served on the Security Council numerous times.

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, West Germany was twice a member and East Germany once held a chair. A unified Germany has been elected three times, most recently in 2011.

And while Israel has never been a member, the Security Council has always included an Arab state since the panel first met in 1946. Over the years, 19 Arab nations have served. Next year, the 20th, Saudi Arabia, will take a council seat for the first time.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Germany has been a steadfast Israeli ally. It should act like one now.