Israel’s candidacy for a temporary seat at the U.N. Security Council encountered its first round of open opposition on Tuesday when Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheit denounced it as unfit for membership.
Accepting Israel would be “a strike at the heart of the Council’s credibility,” Aboul-Gheit said in a tirade at a meeting of the international body, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“Israel is in consistent violation of the U.N. charter and international law and accordingly, it lacks the minimum conditions required to become a member in the Security Council,” Aboul-Gheit said.
He went on to accuse Israel of seeking to “reap the fruits of peace before achieving peace,” and that its building in Yehudah and Shomron is aimed at preventing the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state on contiguous territory.
Although Israel has frequently been the subject of debates, condemnations and emergency sessions at the Council, it has never been allowed to participate in its deliberations as a member.
The Council consists of five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
Candidates for a non-permanent seat are allocated according to regional blocs. Since 2000, Israel has been a member of Western European and Others Group and is the only country in the Middle East that has never been on the Security Council.
The Arab League wasn’t Israel’s only antagonist at the Council on Tuesday. Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi accused Israel of turning the Gaza Strip into a “concentration camp,” according to Arutz Sheva. He said a woman in Gaza told him that.
Israeli ambassador Danny Danon responded:
“The Security Council has provided a platform for anti-Semitic comments and a malicious blood libel. This one-sided obsession with Israel is beyond the pale. To accuse the Jewish state of using concentration camps is not only despicable, but it degrades the Security Council and the U.N. as a whole. We demand that the Security Council renounce Brahimi’s statement immediately.”
In a report to the Security Council on implementation of the resolution adopted by the council in December condemning Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of international law, the U.N. Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov said that Israel has taken no steps to remedy the situation.
He told the members that since March 24, Israel has announced plans for nearly 4,000 housing units and issued 2,000 tenders, which represents an increase over the previous three-month period.