If Israel is chosen to fill a seat in the United Nations Security Council it would be a political farce and a scandal, Ahmad Majdalani, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said on Saturday, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Very little has been said in several months about this issue, since Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon suggested last April that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is likely to support Israel’s becoming one of the five members to join the Security Council in 2019.
Haley has spoken of the need to alter the UN’s treatment of Israel, and Dannon stressed that “it is clear that we will get the support of the US, and I think that we can even expect active support for this important bid.”
But that was more than three months ago, with zero updates on the issue from anyone in Israel or the US State Dept. So why the sudden crisis mode over in Ramallah?
WAFA quoted Majdalani as saying there are efforts now to allow Israel to fill one of the vacant seats of the Security Council’s non-permanent member states, but if it does happen, “it will be a political farce and scandal,” particularly since Israel had not honored any of the Security Council resolutions, nor the UN charter and principles.
“Sanctions should be imposed on Israel and it should be prosecuted for its crimes, not chosen as member of the Security Council,” Majdalani said.
The sudden wake-up call may have to do with the coming visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority later this month by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his first visit since taking his new job. Ambassador Danon said the visit would allow Guterres to “build a relationship” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and also meet Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
“It’s a great opportunity for the Secretary General to experience Israel, to meet the leaders of Israel and to understand the challenges that Israel faces day-in and day-out,” Danon told AFP.
The PA Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told Ma’an on Saturday that the Palestinian leadership is engaged in a detailed plan of action seeking to thwart Israeli efforts to obtain membership in the Security Council. To that end, Mansour said that Guterres’ visit to Ramallah, with President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO gang, would be a long one, starting early in the morning and ending at 6 PM.
So they’ll have lots of time to explain why Israel, which has never been honored with a UN Security Council Membership but has been cited by the same body more than any country on the planet, should not get this upgrade.