Arab League seeks to block Israel’s UN Security Council bid

The Arabs are working to block Israel’s diplomatic advancement in several spheres. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

The Arab league is working to block Israel’s bid for a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat in the 2019-2020 term.

An Arab League ministerial committee convened Monday to discuss a plan it has prepared for this purpose. The meeting, chaired by Iraq, was held at the level of permanent representatives.

Assistant Secretary General for Palestine, Saeed Abu Ali, said the committee evaluated what had been done to counter Israel’s efforts to obtain a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.

“The plan of action that was prepared by the committee during its previous meeting was circulated to Member States,” he said, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

Abu Ali claimed Israel has ignored more than 80 UNSC resolutions on the Palestinian issue, and “therefore, a country that considers itself above the law cannot be rewarded with a membership in the Security Council.”

Israel, which is a member of the UNSC’s Western European and Others Group, is the only Middle East country that has never obtained a non-permanent seat on the UN body. Israel has been working to garner enough support to defeat either Germany or Belgium in a three-way race for two spots on the Security Council. The vote will take place in June.

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In April 2017, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon wrote in a Politico op-ed, “Now, more than ever, it is time for Israel to take its place as a leader in the world’s premiere international organization. Our country is qualified, well equipped and well prepared for this important role.”

Arabs want to block Israel in Africa

Meanwhile, another Arab League ministerial committee approved on Monday an Arab action plan to “confront Israel’s schemes in Africa.”

Israel, over the past few years, has significantly boosted its ties with African states.

In the last 18 months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been in Africa three times, most recently for a 12 hour visit in Kenya in December, during which he met presidents of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana and Namibia, as well as the Ethiopian prime minister and other leaders.

In August, Senegal and Guinea, two Muslim-majority West African nations, sent their first-ever full-time ambassadors to Israel.

Israel has a long history of sharing its expertise with African countries, and Jerusalem hopes that stronger ties will lead to a shift in voting trends at the UN and other global forums, thus reversing what Netanyahu has labeled the “automatic majority against Israel.” The Arabs fear this development.

During its second meeting in Cairo held at the level of permanent representatives, the committee stressed the necessity to “speed up steps and coordinate actions with the Arab Parliament to counter Israel in Africa.”

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The meeting was headed by Saudi Arabia and attended by the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Sudan as well as Ambassador Abu Ali.

The committee stressed the importance of convening at the ministerial level to discuss current developments, especially in light of reports that Zambia will host the 2018 African-Israel Summit.