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Saturday, April 18, 2015

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UN envoy concerned Israel’s foes winning sympathy

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Ron Prosor

MONTREAL — Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations deplored the continued abstention by Germany, the United Kingdom, France and other western countries from voting on anti-Israel resolutions that frequently come before the General Assembly.

Only Israel, the United States, Canada and the Pacific island country of Palau have of late been voting against the condemnations of the Jewish state, Ron Prosor said June 12 at a Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) benefit dinner at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.

“The demonization and delegitimization of Israel is off the charts… repeated day in and day out,” said Prosor, who assumed the post last June after serving as ambassador to the United Kingdom and, before that, director-general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Of the 193 UN member states, only 88 are democracies. Meanwhile, 56 are part of a coalition of Arab and Islamic countries that routinely bring forward these resolutions, he said, and they can get a majority easily with support from other non-democratic nations.

But what most worries Prosor is the insidious indifference to and even acceptance of anti-Israel “lies and half-lies” among democracies, including Britain, “once the cradle of western civilization.”

“In the past our enemies tried to defeat us on the battlefield, and this failed, then they tried economically, and this also did not work out,” he said.

“Today, they are going for our soft underbelly, trying to take us away from the family of nations, turning Israel into a pariah state. They are trying to divide Israel from within and from the Jewish communities abroad.”

These falsehoods include that the idea that ending the Arab-Israeli conflict will solve all the problems in the Middle East, and that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank are a major obstacle to peace.

According to Prosor, the biggest hurdle is the Palestinians’ claim of the right of return to Israel proper.

This is a concession no one in Israel will ever accept, he said, even those on the political left.

“It would mean the destruction of the State of Israel,” he stated.

“The Palestinians want a Jewish state and that their people come to the Jewish state. Our answer is very clear: it’s no.

“The Palestinian leadership never speaks of two states for two peoples, just two states. Why? Because they do not acknowledge the nation state of the Jewish people.”

Proser described Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ address to the UN last September as “antisemitic and racist to the core. He spoke of the children of Muhammad and the children of Christ, but about the children of Abraham, not one word.”

The tactic of repetition has also worked for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Prosor continued. When Ahmadinejad vowed to eradicte Israel a couple of years ago, “the international community was shocked.”

“Today, through repetition, he has made it seem inevitable… or, at least, debatable.”

Prosor is worried that the western world has been lulled into complacency about Iran’s nuclear intentions. But, some of Iran’s Arab neighbours are afraid, notably Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, he said.

Unofficially, Israel is making contact with these states to discuss their mutual concern over the Iranian threat, he said. Prosor praised the steadfast support of the Canadian government for Israel.

“Under [Prime Minister] Stephen Harper, Canada is on the frontline of defending the State of Israel, with dignity and holding to principles, and there is huge respect for that.”

Prosor said that in the near future, he will forcefully raise the issue of the 850,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab lands without compensation.

“There have been 1,088 [UN] resolutions on the Palestinian refugees and not one on the Jewish refugees,” Prosor said.

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