There was good news this week for Israel from the United Nations of all places. Some of it was official, some not.
Israel received an invitation Monday to join the Western European and Others Group in Geneva effective Jan. 1. That paves the way for it to join the UN Human Rights Council it cut ties with in March 2012 to protest what it said was that group’s anti-Israel bias. The group had condemned Israel 46 times in its five-year history — far more than any other country in the world. (See Editorial on page 6.)
With Bibi’s demands looming in UN speech next week, will he, Obama be on same page?
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President Barack Obama emphasized diplomacy at the United Nations Tuesday as a way to convince Iran to give up its quest for nuclear weapons. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to emphasize in his remarks next Tuesday the need for continued sanctions as the way to achieve that goal.
I read with dismay your letter about the UN vote upgrading the Palestinian status to observer state, and your subsequent letter expressing regret for the feelings of alienation that it caused, but affirming the essence of your original message.
“Well,” we imagine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling his worried supporters this week, “we’ll always have Palau.”
It may well be true, but we’d rather have Paris.
Certainly we appreciate that in the United Nations vote that gave the Palestinian Authority (now “Palestine”) upgraded status last Thursday, the government of Palau cast one of nine votes in Israel’s favor. It’s just that we would have preferred the support of the European continent over the citizens of that small island in the Pacific, population 21,000.
Most Jewish groups oppose Abbas’ move; Israelis on left urge support for PA leader.
The frustration in the voice of former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh is evident when he speaks of the planned U.S. opposition to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ bid for United Nations’ recognition of Palestine as a non-member state.
The move, slated for this Thursday, threatens to “destroy America’s only achievement in this region,” he said by phone from Jerusalem, referring to the American training of the Palestinian security force in the West Bank.
How fitting that the body of PLO founder Yasir Arafat is being exhumed this week in the hopes that his death can be attributed to poisoning by the Israelis.
At a remarkably chaotic moment even for the always churning Mideast, with Syria collapsing and Egypt’s new leader seeking Pharaoh-like powers, it seems the Palestinians will do anything to review and return to the past while ignoring the reality of today and planning for tomorrow.
In 2001, Jewish groups battled UN over storm names Israel and Adolph.
While Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on East Coast Jewish communities, another storm 11 years ago made serious political waves in the Jewish world.
It’s not unusual for Jewish organizations to clash with United Nations agencies over issues related to Israel. But in 2001, Jewish groups’ concern for Israel drew them into an unusual battle with the UN over the naming of a hurricane.