Israel’s new ambassador to United Nations: ‘I always thought bad things about the UN’

Israel’s new ambassador to the UN is blunt with his criticism of the world organization in which he represents Israel.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations said the world body is important, but admitted Sunday that before taking the job his impression of the UN was always negative.

“I always thought bad things about the organization, but I believe that it is possible to change and make an impact,” Gilad Erdan said in a Channel 12 interview.

“This [the UN] is an important place, it was once much more important to me,” Erdan said, adding that after celebrating its first 75 years he didn’t think it would be around in another 75 years unless changes were made.

Like most Israelis, Erdan was never a big fan of the United Nations over its blatant anti-Israel bias, but after refusing multiple offers for the position he relented earlier this year and agreed when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered him the double post as ambassador to both the UN and the United States.

The UN may also be a grooming ground for Erdan, 50, who is a candidate to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who turns 71 later this month. Before entering the Knesset, Netanyahu also served as the Israeli ambassador to the UN from 1984 and 1988, during which he first met and became friends with Donald Trump.

That may have helped influence Erdan to take a time-out from Israeli politics. He is currently in New York at the UN, and will move to Washington when current Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer ends his term this fall.

Erdan rejected the suggestion that he was going into “political exile.”

“I think these two positions require a lot of trust and working together with the prime minister,” he said. “I need to get into Ron Dermer’s very big shoes.”

The new ambassador said he had “big plans” for the UN Security Council.

“There are so many discussions about Israel, but it [Israel] has never been a member of the Security Council,” he said. “I am going to propose to the prime minister and foreign minister [Gabi Ashkenazi] for the first time to hold a significant campaign for the coming years so that Israel will be elected to it.”

Asked how he would handle the situation if Democratic candidate Joe Biden is elected in November and he would have to work with Democrats, Erdan replied that “in the end, the partnership between us and the United States is a partnership of interests. There can be gaps in the positions of a particular government, but in the end the mainstream of the Democratic Party is with us.”