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Israel to vie for Security Council seat, envoy confirms

Ron Prosor tells Reuters that Jerusalem will compete against Germany and Belgium for spot in 2019-2020

Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, left (photo credit: Courtesy/File)
Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, left (photo credit: Courtesy/File)

Israel will look for the first time to secure a seat on the United Nations Security Council later this decade, Jerusalem’s envoy to the world body said Thursday.

Ron Prosor told Reuters that Israel would vie for a seat on the 15-member panel for 2019-2020, the first time the Jewish state would try to win a spot on the UN’s most powerful forum.

“We’re going all-out to win,” Prosor told Reuters. “It’s about time.”

Winning a seat on the Security Council, which has five permanent members with veto power and rotating membership for its other 10 seats, will not be easy for Israel.

To become a member of the Security Council, which has the power to pass binding resolutions backed by force, Israel will have to be approved by two-thirds of the 193-member General Assembly. That body includes the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, many of whose members would likely seek to keep Israel from sitting on the council, diplomats said.

Prosor said Israel would compete against Germany and Belgium for two seats allocated to the Western European and Others group, to which Israel belongs. He said Jerusalem was blocked by Muslim countries from joining the Asia-Pacific group.

In May, Channel 2 News reported that Israeli officials were “upset” with Germany for throwing its hat in the ring and marring Israel’s chances of ascending to a two-year rotation on the council for the first time.

But German officials say that since the country is the UN’s third-biggest financial contributor and is vying for a permanent seat on the council, it has been submitting candidacies every eight years for 25 years.

“This did not come as a surprise to anyone, because this is the usual eight-year rhythm in which Germany runs for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council,” the spokesman of the German Foreign Ministry, Andreas Peschke, said Monday.

Since the UN voted Israel into existence in 1947, the Security Council has passed hundreds of resolutions concerning Israel, more than any other subject, analysts say.

In August, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Ban told Israeli students in Jerusalem that Israel “has been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias — and sometimes even discrimination” at the UN.

He later backtracked on the statement, saying he doesn’t “think there is discrimination against Israel at the United Nations.”

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