By Emma von Lego & Bettina Boye
Upon request from the Palestinian Authority (PA), The Arab League on Sunday voted for a resolution to form a committee aiming to foil Israel’s bid to become a member of the United Nations Security council for 2019-2020, a Palestinian official said.
The committee will include the presidency of the Arab Summit, presidency of the Ministerial Council, Egypt (the only Arab country who is a currently a UN Security Council member), the PA, and Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul Gheit.
“[The PA] fears that Israel will be able to succeed in its attempts to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council with support from the Western European Countries Group in the SC,” stated Jamal al-Shobaki, the PA’s permanent representative to the Arab League.
According to Israeli officials, Israel plans to achieve one of the two seats reserved for the “Western European and Others” regional group in the 15-member panel. The upcoming final elections will be held in the summer 2018, and The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has already begun to strategically strengthen ties with vital countries such as Africa, which will be one of the crucial regions to get support from in order to get elected.
Besides the prospective participation in the Africa-Israel summit this October in Togo, Netanyahu has seeking new markets for hi-tech, security know-how and Israeli agriculture in African Nations during his two visits over the last year.
“There must be intensive Arab efforts to prevent Israel from obtaining membership in the Security Council and getting the votes of African countries,” al-Shobaki said according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
“Arabs and Africans share historical and cultural relations that have a major role in supporting the Palestinian cause,” he added expressing his expectations for most African countries to reject Israel’s membership in the UN Security Council.
As a part of the Israeli foreign policy strategy Netanyahu has already tried to increase the number of Israeli supporters, by conducting in December,the first-ever visit to Kazakhstan by a sitting Israeli prime minister. Here Netanyahu asked the Muslim country to support Israel’s bid at the UN.
“My hope is, and I say this to all our friends, that the great partnership that we are building here will also be reflected in international forums like the UN. That’s beginning to happen. The ship doesn’t move overnight; we understand that it’s a big ship. But it’s going to change, it’s changing already,” Netanyahu said to Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
He added,“Now, if you want a real change in the world, imagine the State of Israel on the Security Council of the United Nations — that’s a change.”
The Israeli membership of the UN Security council will be the first in the history of the UN.