Arab league tries to deny Israel a rotating-seat at the UN Security Council

During joint meeting of the European Union and the Arab League, the 4th of its kind, which was held in Cairo this week; Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit called on EU-member states to block an Israeli bid of becoming a non-permanent member in the United Nations Security Council for 2019 and 2020. “At the same time and context we are calling on the states of the European Union and the international community to firmly block Israel’s efforts for a non-permanent seat at the (UN) Security Council. This contradicts the simplest rules of logic and the equality. The occupation has to be ended, not rewarded to become a member of the United Nations body that is responsible for protecting international security,” said Aboul Gheit.

Israel first made public its intention to contend for a seat on the UN Security Council in September of 2005, soon after it withdrew from the Gaza Strip. That month, then-prime minister, the late Ariel Sharon, was warmly received in the United Nations because of the Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian enclave, and then-foreign minister Silvan Shalom announced that Israel would seek to join the powerful UN body in 2019. The two main contenders of Israel in winning the aspired seat on the prestigious council however, are Belgium and Germany, making prospects of winning a seat on the council a challenging endeavor.

Nevertheless, Israel continues to lobby countries around the world to vote in its favor. Last week, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit to the central Asian country of Kazakhstan, a country that has systematically voted against Israel in the United Nations for years, the Israeli leader asked Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for assistance in getting Israel accepted as a rotating member of the 15-seat Security Council.

The Security Council is composed of five permanent members, including the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain, as well as 10 non-permanent-members that are elected from the world body for two-year terms by the General assembly. Prime Minister Netanyahu has long desired a seat on the council, because “if the Jewish state would indeed become a member,” Netanyahu said “it would be further proof that Israel is not isolated on the international stage and of the dramatic changes its foreign relations are undergoing.”

I ask the President Nazarbayev to support the Israel bid for the Security Council seat. You know that we supported Kazakhstan successful bid to be in the Security Council. Now if you want a real change in the world imagine the state of Israel on the Security Council of the United Nations. That’s a change. And it is supposed to be in 2019, and I think it is far from… I think it is possible,” Said Netanyahu. To date, the Jewish state is the only country in the Middle East that has not won a seat on the Security Council.